Price Guidelines

Many variables affect the cost of processing freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate samples. Factors include the taxonomic level of identification for each macroinvertebrate group, the habitat sampled, the sample method and mesh-size used, the difficulty of sorting invertebrates from the sample matrix, the type of data analysis, and extent of interpretive reports.

Our standard analysis for benthic samples from running waters includes:

  • Random sub-sampling of invertebrates in the sample to obtain 500-600 organisms.
  • Removal of macroinvertebrates from sediments/sample matrix under a microscope providing a 95+% sorting efficacy.
  • Identification of invertebrates consistent with the EPA’s western Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Program (EMAP) Standard Taxonomic Effort. This is to the genus or species level for most insects, mollusks and crustaceans, and includes identification of Chironomidae (midges) to genus or species group.
  • Archiving identified macroinvertebrate samples for potential QA/QC analysis  of taxonomic accuracy.
  • Spreadsheet of taxa abundances and summary statistics for each sample.
  • Community profile: an extensive listing of metrics calculated from sample data.
  • An Excel spreadsheet record type file of all taxa abundance data suitable for importing into a database can be supplied upon request.
  • Calculation of the Karr Benthic Index of Biological Integrity (BIBI) or a more region-specific multimetric BIBI.

The price for a standard analysis is between $150-$300 per sample, depending upon project specific variables.

Aquatic Biology Associates, Inc. is available to help you clarify your project objectives and data requirements. We can recommend robust sample processing specifications and provide you with a specific quote. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your project.


I found ABA, Inc. very easy to deal with, competent and reasonably priced. They were very flexible in terms of inputting our data into a web based data base, which they had not done before. They have been very accessible for help and advice through either the phone or email.

– Mike Papa, Water Quality, City of Everett, Washington