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Waterbug Book


The Waterbug Book

A Guide to the Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of Temperate Australia

John Gooderham  
Edward Tsyrlin  

Colour photographs, Glossary, Bibliography, Index
240 pages
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

    Paperback - 2002
ISBN: 9780643066687 - AU $ 49.95

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Freshwater macroinvertebrates provide a useful and reliable indicator of the health of our rivers, streams, ponds and wetlands. As environmental awareness within the community increases, there is an increasing interest in the need to assess the health of our local waterways and school curriculums are changing to reflect this important ecological trend.

The Waterbug Book provides a comprehensive and accurate identification guide for both professionals and non-professionals. It contains an easy-to-use key to all the macroinvertebrate groups and, for the first time, high quality colour photographs of live specimens. It provides a wealth of basic information on the biology of macroinvertebrates, and describes the SIGNAL method for assessing river health. The Waterbug Book is full of practical tips about where to find various animals, and what their presence can tell about their environment.

Winner of the 2003 Eureka Science Book Prize and the 2003 Whitley Medal.


  • Easy-to-use key to macroinvertebrate groups
  • First book to feature more than 300 colour photographs of live specimens
  • 120 diagrams
  • Glossary

 All those who carry out water monitoring projects: Waterwatch and Streamwatch groups; secondary level and undergraduate students; amateur naturalists and fly fishing enthusiasts; professional environmental scientists who need a quick reference. 

 ". . . very readable and clearly designed to appeal to the non-specialist. At the same time, the quality of the pictures is a joy and the written notes are useful for the professional aquatic ecologist."
Leon Metzeling, EPA Victoria (Victorian Naturalist v.120(5) 2003)

". . . The text is extremely well written and authoritative, . . . superb photographs. . . The waterbug book will appeal to a whole spectrum of readers, from keen naturalists, fly fishermen and students, to water-management authorities, environmental consultants and academics."
Noel Tait, Macquarie University (NATURE AUSTRALIA, Autumn 2003)

"Without a doubt, anyone interested in water, bugs, or both should have this book on the shelves"
David Meagher (Trees and Natural Resources Dec 2002)

“The authors write with authority and just the right lightness of touch. The colour pictures (more than 350) of live creatures are excellent. … A superb example of scientific publishing for a broad readership.”
The Australian 7 August 2002

“Gooderham and Tsyrlin have produced an attractive book that will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in freshwaters, their ecology and life. The superb photographs of invertebrates will delight non-professionals and professionals alike.”
Ulrike Nolte (Wildlife Australia Spring 2002)

“… the definitive guide to toad bugs, marsh flies, aquatic caterpillars, moth flies an rat-tailed maggots that will have your ecologist totally enthralled …”
Wildlife (WWF) no.99 Spring 2002

“Farmers involved with environmental monitoring with find The Waterbug Book by John Gooderham and Edward Tsyrlin an invaluable reference.”
Patrick Francis (Australian Landcare Dec 2002)


 John Gooderham and Edward Tsyrlin are freshwater ecologists who have spent their professional lives working with waterbugs as researchers, authors, consultants and teachers. John has lectured internationally and has been involved in a number of community education programs in Victoria and Tasmania. Edward Tsyrlin works as a professional taxonomist and acts as Waterwatch Coordinator for the Merri Creek Management Committee. His strong interest in macro-photography provided the original motivation for this book. 

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