Melbourne Water’s stream macroinvertebrate database

Thirty-plus years of biological data from streams of the Melbourne region;

A standardised sample coding scheme for any study in the Melbourne stream network;

An up-to-date hierarchy of taxonomy tables with standardised taxon codes.

Melbourne Water have been investing in biological monitoring and ecological research using stream macroinvertebrate assemblage composition since 1994. The resulting body of data is a rich resource of information on the biodiversity, ecology, and condition of Melbourne’s streams, which has been used in many studies that have advanced stream ecology and has provided a strong evidence base for decisions on the management of Melbourne’s streams. The data set has strong potential to contribute to further advances and to future management strategies. To maximise that potential, this site provides access to the full database, a web interface for exploring the data interactively, and documentation to help data exploration and use.

The site codes used to identify sampled reaches link to the Melbourne Water stream network (Walsh 2023a) allowing linking of a wide range of environmental data to these biological data.

For more information, including tips on using the data, see the User’s manual (Walsh 2023b).

You can download the full database from the data downloads tab.

Alternatively, you can interact directly with the network data using the mwbugs app, and download selected subsets of the data. The data entry form provides an interface for assembling macroinvertebrate data in a format that is consistent with the database.


Walsh, C J. 2023a. “Melbourne Water Stream Network: User’s Manual. Version 1.3. Melbourne Water Research Practice Partnership Technical Report 19.4d.” Report. School of Agriculture, Food and Ecosystem Sciences, The University of Melbourne.
———. 2023b. “The Melbourne Water Macroinvertebrate Database: User’s Manual. Version 2. Melbourne Water Research Practice Partnership Technical Report 20.1a.” Melbourne Water Research Practice Partnership Technical Report 20.1a. School of Ecosystem; Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne.