The macroinvertebrates of Magela Creek, Northern Territory
Research Report 1
ISBN 0 644 01219 6
About the report
The littoral zones of five permanent billabongs in Magela Creek were sampled monthly for macroinvertebrates(>500 mm in length). Greatest numbers of taxa and individuals were caught in the late wet season and early dry season in the shallow billabongs; in the deep (or channel) billabongs, seasonal variations were not so marked. These changes appeared to be associated with the development of macrophytes, which offered food and shelter to the invertebrate fauna.
The dominant groups were the Chironomidae, Oligochaetae and Ephemeroptera. The life spans of some of the Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera were probably about a month; other groups such as the Gastropoda lived longer. The seasonal patterns of the catches were sufficiently consistent for future samples to be able to be compared with these initial ones with some confidence that any changes are real. Further study of the taxonomy and life history of those taxa suitable as biological monitors (eg Atyidae, Ephemeroptera) should be made.