Taxonomy is a hierarchical system used to categorize living organisms into groups with similar anatomical characteristics, as follows:
The Cobb County Stream Monitoring Program identifies collected specimens to the genus level and uses the population data in multi-metric calculations (analytical computations used to evaluate components of the macroinvertebrate community). Results are used to interpret effects of pollution exposure, habitat stability, and food supply.
For the purposes of watershed assessments, we identify aquatic insects belonging to the orders of Coleoptera (beetles), Diptera (true flies), Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Megaloptera (fishflies, alderflies and dobsonflies), Odonata (dragonflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies) and Trichoptera (caddisflies).
The Cobb County Stream Monitoring Program uses the following taxonomic keys when identifying aquatic macroinvertebrates:
Aquatic Entomology - The Fishermen’s and Ecologists’ Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives by W. Patrick McCafferty
An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America edited by R.W. Merritt and K.W. Cummins
Aquatic Insects and Oligochaetes of North and South Carolina edited by Brigham, Brigham and Gnilka
The Water Beetles of Florida by J.H. Epler
Identification Manual for the Caddisfly (Trichoptera) Larvae of Florida by Manuel L. Pescador, Andrew K. Rasmussen, and Steven C. Harris