Charles Drewes Memorial Fund

Charlie Drewes
Iowa State University

BA Augustana (SD)
PhD Michigan State

Invertebrate Neurobiology
Publications (htm) (pdf)
Invertebrate Biology
Neurobiology / Bioethics

Biology Outreach:
My Narrative
(pdf) (htm)
Invited Workshops & Presentations
* Hands-on inquiry - living invertebrates
* Distance-mentor for student research
Email:  Ph: 515-294-8061

         TOPIC INDEX      (frequent updates - last 6-6-05)         

Invertebrates: hands-on biology Cheap gadgets & technical info See WHATS NEW? 
Invertebrate image gallery Paleozoic Devonian Fossils INDEX: all images & docs
Lumbriculus: blackworms Neurobiology / Physiology:  student labs Invertebrate Cultures
Biology in Action: animations Off the Beaten Path: musings & antiquities Lakeside Lab Workshops

> Image Gallery <

DOCUMENT & IMAGE REPRODUCTION POLICY: You may copy & distribute any documents or images herein for non-profit, educational purposes, so long as original authorship credits are properly ascribed on documents & images. If you adapt or modify materials, then clear designation of modifications should be made, so that names of original author(s) & new author(s) are properly matched to components that each authored.

    Invertebrate Biology  (non-oligochaetes)               Index >

For hard copy, specify article(s) & give complete mailing address (school or home). Send request to:
  PH: 515-294-8061 WEB:
Charles Drewes, EEOB Dept, Rm 503 Sci-II Bldg, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 USA

Stuck-on Artemia [Investigate & quantitate hatching of brine shrimp cysts NEW: [LAB WRITE-UP] [Photos: Artemia development] NEW: [PowerPt slides] Great for open-ended student inquiry. [COMMERCIAL KIT]
Artemia franciscana {pdf file} [Compilation of hard-to-find information about biology, reproduction, development, hatching of nauplius larvae & brine shrimp growth (Arthropoda: Branchiopoda). This document included in Stuck-on Artemia write-up above]
Triops longicaudatus [Compilation of hard-to-find information about biology, reproduction, development & growth of tadpole shrimp (Arthropoda: Branchiopoda); 7 pp]
Leaf Mold Community [Discover invertebrates in leaf mold, leaf litter & compost. Make a simple Berlese funnel (Burlese funnel) from 2-liter soda bottle & mesh. Focus on organism diversity & food webs. Background info & illustrations; 7 pp]
Feeding Frenzy for Freshwater Invertebrates [Humorous, unique, educational placemat featuring yellow-page entries for 13 invertebrate eating establishments. Exs: [hydra] [oligochaete] [leech] [nematode] [daphnia] [sponge] [planaria] [bivalve] [bryozoa] [rotifer] [crayfish] [copepod] [snail]. Includes table with development, reproduction, feeding, body plan, locomotion & ecology of each; 1 p]
Freshwater Invertebrates of the Iowa Great Lakes {PDF file} {PowerPt file 25 MB} [18-pp booklet of color photos & info on invertebrate biodiversity (non-insect) from Iowa lakes/wetlands. Not a taxonomic key. (Pages as JPEG files: p0-cover, p1-sponges, p2-cnidarians, p3-flatworms, p4-gastrotrichs/nematodes, p5-rotifers, p6-snails, p7-bivalves, p8-leeches, p9-oligochaetes, p10-bryozoans, p11-tardigrades, p12-mites/ostracods, p13-branchiopods, p14-cladocerans, p15-copepods, p16-isopods/amphipods, p17-crayfish) For brief version:]
Food for Aquatic Invertebrates [Food for brine shrimp, freshwater snails, freshwater oligochaetes, etc; 2 pp] 
Culturing Freshwater Snails for Developmental Studies [Author: C. Schutte. Info about biology & development of freshwater snails (e.g. Helisoma trivolvis); focus on collection, culture & inquiry. 8 pp.] [full text: PowerPt slides] [color photos: developing eggs-A; eggs-B, eggs-C] [Helisoma photo] NEW: [snail heart rate vs body size]
Invertebrate LocOlympics [Investigate invertebrate locomotion & biomechanics using real-time video or video-based animations. Trace freeze-frame images on monitor & measure locomotor parameters. 18-pp write-up. [Organisms on LocOlympics videotape] [PowerPt images][Link to interactive/computational animations for invertebrate locomotion]

Discovering and Investigating Paleozoic (Devonian) Microfossils [NEW Hands-on inquiry with microfossils; includes methods for collecting, isolating & handling. Presented at 2004 NABT & 2005 ABLE meetings [Microfossil images] [PowerPt- NABT]
McWorm: Invertebrate Fast Food [Use Lumbriculus variegatus (blackworms) to study predation & feeding behaviors in Hydra [hydra-A] [hydra-B] Planaria, crayfish, Triops, leeches, ostracods & freshwater tropical fish. Co-author: K. Cain, 4 pp] [See predation at:  Then, select: Species Interactions] [COMMERCIAL KIT]
Days of Our Spineless Lives {PDF-file} [Interdisciplinary, creative writing activity. Students write a first-person essay incorporating researched answers to more than 30 questions about biology & natural history of an invertebrate. Co-authored with L. Ihrig; 12 pp]  
Americas Most Wanted Invertebrates {PDF-file} [Students integrate invertebrate biology content into a creative written/pictorial profile, resulting in a fugitive wanted poster. Activity parallels Days of Our Spineless Lives (above), co-authored with L. Ihrig;10 pp] 
New Views of Daphnids NEW [Simple method to restrain daphnids underwater on a tether, allowing unimpaired movements of appendages & clear view of daphnid anatomy, physiology & behavior. Many possible investigations; 4 pp] [See: daphnid swimming] [daphnid eye rotation]
Low-Life Limericks [Invertebrate limericks NEW: hydra, tardigrade, centipede, millipede, planaria, brine shrimp, mite, leech, daphnid, freshwater jellyfish, snail, crayfish, spider, cockroach, & nematode; illustrated; 2 pp]
Vinegar Eels [Hard-to-find biology background about Turbatrix aceti, the vinegar eel (Phylum Nematoda). Isolation methods & ideas for student inquiry; 4 pp] INTERACTIVE ANIMATION of nematode swimming] [computations for vinegar eel swimming]
Biological Smoke Detectors {pdf file} [Toxicology mini-manual, or primer, for students & teachers. Background info & ideas for using invertebrates for ecotoxicity testing. Ideas for student research & science fair projects. Kansas School Naturalist, vol. 50 (1)1-15, Dec., 2003 - multiple copies available on request
Putting Your Best Root Forward: PORTFOLIO for a PLANT  NEW  [Assigned project in which students research & create an employment portfolio for a plant (= a showcase of ecological niche for a selected plant species).]  NOTE: Plants are invertebrates, too!  :-)

   Gadgets & Technical Information       Index >

For hard copy, specify article(s) & give complete mailing address (school or home). Send requests to:
  PH: 515-294-8061  WEB:
Charles Drewes, EEOB Dept, Rm 503 Sci-II Bldg, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 USA

A Toolbox for Working With Living Invertebrates [Inexpensive materials & methods for collecting, handling & investigating living invertebrates. Excerpts from an article published in 26th Proceedings of Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE).
Microrulers [Make 10 microrulers for measuring small objects, under a dissecting scope, to the nearest 0.1 mm. Rulers are tiny, flexible & laminated.]
Pencil Pipet Technique [Simple, reliable way to transfer small invertebrates in small fluid volumes using stretched plastic pipet or capillary tube. Deliver tiny blackworm fragments to Hydra or Planaria to study prey capture & feeding; 2 pp] [stretch pipet] NEW [suck up microfossils]
The Handy-Dandy FleX-Acto Invertebrate Detachment Tool [Simple tool for lab/field [FleX-Acto tool] Rapid, safe removal of invertebrates from rock, wood, glass surfaces. Detach planaria, hydra, NEW leech cocoon, snail egg mass, snails & caddisfly larvae, 2 pp]
Pour-Person Plankton Net [Cheap way to collect & concentrate zooplankton in lab or field. 2 pp] [photo of net]
Mini-Widgets [Simple, creature-friendly tools [widgets] for manipulating small, living invertebrates, such as molluscs, annelids, small crustaceans, insects, bryozoa, etc. Use instead of metal dissecting probes or toothpicks. 1p] NEW [pick up dry microfossils]
Making Flexible Foam Well Slides [Make simple, unbreakable, re-usable, non-seeping well slides from acetate sheets, foam tape, or foam sheets; great for viewing small aquatic invertebrates with compound or dissecting microscope; 2 pp] [Foam slide]
Tape Well Slides [Easy-to-make, unbreakable, leak-proof, clear-bottomed, well-slides with customizable well dimensions. Excellent for viewing aquatic oligochaetes, planaria, rotifers, pond water, etc.]
Many-view Mini-box [A 15-cent, reusable, leak-proof, small viewbox (= plastic spectrophotometric cuvet) with soft rubber cork [minibox];  view living planaria, hydra, snails, zooplankton, small leeches, insects from all sides with stereo or compound scope; 2 pp]
Water {pdf file} [Compares desirable & undesirable sources of water for maintenance/culture of invertebrates; 1 p] 
Food for Aquatic Invertebrates [Updated Food for brine shrimp, freshwater snails, freshwater oligochaetes, etc; 2 pp]
New Light on Phototaxis and Phototropism [Make & use ultra-bright LEDs for phototaxis inquiry in invertebrates & phototropism in plants [phototropism]. Write-up has photobiology background, practical ideas, references, commercial sources/catalog numbers for components, circuit designs for battery/AC power.11 pp] NEW inquire [red-LED probe] [blue-LED probe] Phototaxis: [daphnids] [ostracods]
Auxiliary LED Illuminator System for Brock Microscopes  NEW [ View-1; View-2, View-3.]  Inquire
ILLUM-11 high-brightness, low-heat microscope illuminator NEW [ILLUM-11 photo Inquire
Portascope [Portable low-power microscope. Ultra-bright LED provides sub-stage or above-stage lighting. Portascope w/canister LED; Portascope with built-in LED: front view & side view] Inquire
Biological Smoke Detectors {pdf file} [A toxicology mini-manual, or primer, for students or teachers. Background info & ideas for using invertebrates (e.g., Lumbriculus or earthworms) for ecotoxicity testing in student research or science fair projects. Kansas School Naturalist, vol 50:1-15, Dec, 2003 - multiple copies available on request] [web version w/no figures].

  Lumbriculus variegatus       Index >

For hard copy, specify article(s) & give complete mailing address (school or home). Send request to:
     EMAIL:  PH: 515-294-8061  WEB:
     MAIL: Charlie Drewes, EEOB Dept, Rm 503 Sci-II Bldg, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 USA

Those Wonderful Worms (Lumbriculus variegatus) [Illustrated article; Carolina Tips, Aug., 1996, vol. 59, no. 3, 4 pp]. 
Lumbriculus variegatus: Commercial Sources NEW [List of sources for Lumbriculus variegatus (aquatic oligochaete); 1 p]
Culturing Lumbriculus variegatus {htm file} {PDF file} [Brief explanation for culturing Lumbriculus in the lab, 1 p]
Lumbriculus variegatus: A Biology Profile {htm file} {PDF-file} [Background about taxonomy, lifestyle, reproduction, muscle, circulation & behavior of blackworms (Lumbriculus) - not found in general or advanced texts; 4 pp] 
Lumbriculus variegatus photos [Habitat For Wormanity-A] [Habitat for Wormanity-B] [worm-1] [worm-2] [worm-3] [worm anatomy][Cross-sections]
Biology Facts about Mudworms {htm-file} {PDF file} [Brief summary of Lumbriculus (blackworm) biology; 1 p] 
As the Worm Turns [Investigate Lumbriculus crawling, swimming & reversal behavior; Am. Biol. Teacher, 61:438-442) INTERACTIVE ANIMATIONS: [Lumbriculus swimming], [oligochaete crawling] [Lumbriculus body reversal] [helical swimming computations]
Heads or Tails NEW > Regeneration lab writeup  [Detailed exercise on head & tail regeneration in Lumbriculus; published in Proc.Assoc.for Biology Lab. Educ. (ABLE), Vol. 17, 1996; pp. 23-34.(pdf file)] [Regenerated fragment] [Regeneration animation]
Blackworms, Blood Vessel Pulsation and Drug Effects (pdf file) [Student lab exercise on pulse rate & drug effects in Lumbriculus dorsal blood vessel; Am. Biol. Teacher, 61:48-53.[View of dorsal & lateral blood vessels] See INTERACTIVE ANIMATIONS of pulsations: [mid-body pulse rate] [posterior pulse rate] [pulse velocity] NEW: [Worms in tape-well slides] NEW: [Calculate blood volume through dorsal vessel]
Non-invasive Recording of Giant Nerve Fiber Action Potentials from Freely Moving Oligochaetes [Record all-or-none spikes from giant nerve fibers in intact Lumbriculus; Proc Assoc Biol Lab Educ (ABLE), 20:45-62, 1999. worm AP-1; worm AP-2] [Oligochaete Giant Axons-PowerPt slides]
Functional Organization of the Nervous System in Lumbriculus variegatus {pdf file} [Background information about Lumbriculus nervous system - not in general or advanced texts; 4 pp] [Cross-sections]
Worm Limericks {PDF file} [Lumbriculus poetry; 1 p]
Biological Smoke Detectors {pdf file} [Toxicology mini-manual, or primer, for students or teachers. Background info & ideas for using invertebrates (e.g., Lumbriculus or earthworms) for ecotoxicity testing in student research or science fair projects. Kansas School Naturalist, vol. 50 (1)1-15, Dec., 2003 - multiple copies available on request
Through a Looking Glass - Version I [Inquiry-based lab utilizing worms tendencies to crawl into capillary tubes (thigmotaxis, gving clear views of internal/external features & functions in Lumbriculus, 8 pp; co-author: B. Grosz] NEW [worms in tubes] [worm anatomy]
Through a Looking Glass - Version II {pdf file} [Inquiry-based lab exercise. View internal & external features of whole worms, Lumbriculus, or worm fragments, using flat-tipped culture tubes. 2 pp] 
McWorm: Invertebrate Fast Food [Use Lumbriculus variegatus (blackworms) to study predatory attack & feeding behavior in Hydra [hydra-A] [hydra-BPlanaria, crayfish, Triops, leeches & freshwater tropical fish. Co-author: K. Cain. 4 pp] [COMMERCIAL KIT]
Papyrus terrestris [Build 24-inch-long model of oligochaete worm that shows biomechanics of peristaltic locomotion in oligochaete worms, including circular & longitudinal muscle actions, plus protraction & retraction of chaetae; 1 p] [see oligochaete crawling]

            Keep on crawlin...                   Index >

ABLE-2003: Downloadable PowerPt files show freeze-frame images of invertebrate locomotion.  Use with Invertebrate LocOlympics lab writeup (NOTE: Files vary from 500-1100 kB) SELECT >>