Macroinvertebrate.org is an explorable online collection of 150 specimens representing 9 orders of benthic macroinvertebrates organisms *The site is is best viewed with an updated version of the Chrome browser on a PC or tablet. It is not yet optimized for small mobile screens, and some features may be affected when viewed on a phone.
Navigating the Collection The collection is organized into order-level, family-level, and genus-level (specimen) pages.
Click on any order on the home page to go to the order page for that order. To navigate from one order page to another, click the the down arrow next to the words "ORDER" in the top left. Clicking on the box around the specimens in a family will take you to the family page, and clicking on a specimen itself will take you to the genus-level page for that specimen. To return to the family- or order-level page, click the name of the order or family. To navigate to a different order or family page, you can click the down arrow next to the words "ORDER" or "FAMILY" at the top of the page.
To view a simplified version of the home page using illustrations instead of images, navigate to "Insect Orders" under the main menu in the upper left corner. To view the full collection and navigate directly to any specimen, click "Full Collection" in the main menu and select either "Image View" (shows all images in the collection) or "Taxa List" (allows you to navigate by scientific name).
Exploring a Specimen When viewing a specimen on the genus-level page, you can drag and zoom with your mouse/trackpad, or use the viewer box at the lower left corner. Alternative views of the specimen are at the bottom of the viewer box. To change your view of the specimen (i.e. to flip it, or view it from the side), simply click on an alternative view, such as ventral, lateral, etc. (note: some specimens may only have a single view available).
The informational panel on the right can be collapsed by clicking the gray bar with the arrow. The tabs at the top of the panel represent information, diagnostic characteristics, and media. The panel automatically opens to the diagnostic characteristics tab. To pull up more information about a characteristic, simply click on it in the panel, or click on the grey pointer icons on the specimen itself. Some characteristics are not visible from the current view of the specimen--these are marked with the flip arrow arrow symbol, and clicking on that characteristic will change the view of the specimen. To see more examples of that particular characteristic, click the blue folded corner icons with the plus symbol. Clicking on an example image will take you to the page for that specimen. Clicking on "+ Expanded Character List" at the very bottom will open a popup window listing all characteristics of that particular genus. In the information tab, glossary terms are underlined, and clicking on the term will show the glossary definition.
Identifying a Specimen For help identifying an unknown specimen, click the blue ID key button at the top of the site. This will take you to a dichotomous key for identification to the order level. Clicking the blue folded corner icons will open a popup window with image examples of the characteristic asked about. Clicking on one of the order images will take you to that order page. To leave the key page, click the blue back button in the upper right corner.
Using the Glossary You can navigate to the glossary using the menu in the upper left corner. Terms are organized alphabetically, and you can jump to a particular section by clicking the letters at the top.
Using the Search Bar Typing a word into the search bar will search our diagnostic characteristic descriptions, informational text, and glossary terms for that word.
Learning More About Macroinvertebrates.org To learn more about us, you can visit the About section or the Project Blog section in the main menu in the upper left corner.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #1623969. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.