Freshwater invertebrates AIDGAP
FSC Freshwater invertebrates AIDGAP is an identification guide for ponds, lakes, streams and rivers in Britain and Ireland. Identification goes to at least family level.
The guide is a bridge between popular colour identification guides and more specialist works. Users move through a series of dichotomous keys. But the authors have avoided specialist terminology whenever possible.
You don’t need any special equipment beyond a net, white tray and hand lens. The author has spent many years of leading fieldwork, so has chosen characters visible on living specimens. These include easily observed animal behaviour where this is a useful clue. As a result, the key will work with samples collected in a standard pond net. The author has excluded most animals less than 2 mm long, including all Protozoa, Rotifera and Nematoda. However, some groups, like the planktonic crustaceans, are covered, because they can be found in such quantities as to make this arbitrary guideline seem unreasonable.
This guide is part of the FSC’s AIDGAP series (Aids to Identification in Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants). Our AIDGAP guides are accessible identification keys, suitable for non-specialists from age 16+. As with all guides in the series, the Freshwater invertebrates AIDGAP underwent extensive testing before publication, by beginners and specialists alike. The author has revised this, the first published version, in the light of the testers’ experience.
Accurate identification of specimens is an important part of biological fieldwork. Since 1976, the AIDGAP project has published over 40 straightforward and clearly written identification keys to many different groups of plants, animals and other taxa. In many cases the AIDGAP volume is the only non-technical work covering the group.