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Freshwater invertebrates

Many of Scotland’s invertebrates live in our freshwater habitats for some or all of their lives.

The diverse invertebrates that live in our lochs and burns help to break down organic debris and maintain water quality. They’re also a food source for fish, birds, bats and others.

Our most common dragonfly and damselfly species breed in ponds and lochs. Such bodies of water are quite widespread but are at risk of pollution, infilling and being drained.

Scotland contains many of the world’s most important populations of freshwater pearl mussel. We’re working hard to conserve this critically endangered mollusc.

Stoneflies, mayflies and caddisflies spend most of their lives as larvae on our river and loch beds.