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Water Bug Team

Have you ever wondered what lives at the bottom of our creeks? 
Do you want to find out?

This year, SPAWNERS is starting a new program: Water Bug Team! 

Join us in the creeks as we look for benthic macro-invertebrates, bottom-dwelling bugs that can tell us about creek health. These creatures are an important part of stream ecosystems, and each family has a different tolerance level for pollutants. 

By sampling and identifying these invertebrates, we can better understand the creek's health over a longer period of time. For example, mayflies have a very low tolerance for pollutants. If the creek supports a thriving mayfly population, water quality must have been good for some time. 

Events are on the 4th Saturday of each month from 9:30am-12:30pm at one of our four creek sites. We welcome additional adult volunteers to join the Water Bug Team, but space is limited so please RSVP to Helen Fitanides (helen@thewatershedproject.org) to ensure your spot. 

         Spotlight on Damselfly Nymphs
             Order: Odonata (“toothed ones”)
                       Suborder: Zygoptera

It doesn’t look like much to the naked eye, but one glance through the microscope and you know this bug means business. A large head and wide mandibles assist with its carnivorous lifestyle; it eats water fleas, mosquito larvae and other aquatic organisms, including other nymphs. This creature is only 1 or 2 centimeters long, but it is a fierce predator. It has three large leaf-like gills at the end of its abdomen, distinguishing it from the similar-looking dragonfly nymph. The damselfly nymph spends at least a year in the creek, undergoing several molts before finally emerging into the airy world, where it gets down to business: terrorizing terrestrial bugs.

Water Bug Team is modeled after Friends of Sausal Creek's Bug Team, spearheaded by Kathleen Harris.
Please contact Helen Fitanides at helen@thewatershedproject.org for more information.