Nine keen volunteers helped collect important citizen science data on waterbug diversity on the Plenty River as part of the November 2019 Waterbug Blitz.
MCMC's Waterwatch Coordinator worked with Waterbug guru, John Gooderham, to help participants collect and identify waterbugs from three Plenty River sites - the Gorge in Mernda, near the Whittlesea township, and upstream of the township at Wildwood Rd.
Waterbugs found on the day came from 20 different groups (Family level) and included two different families of Mayflies - Leptophlebiidae (upstream of Whittlesea township) [illustrated in photo] and Caenidae (at the Gorge). Mayflies are sensitive to pollution so it is a great indication that the waterway is healthy if mayflies are present. The sample taken closest to Whittlesea township showed the lowest diversity of the three sites.
Thank you to the State Government of Victoria, the City of Whittlesea, the Two Beans and a Farm café (Carome Homstead) where the waterbugs were identified on outdoor tables, and the Waterbug Blitz team for making this event possible.