The tolerance to high salinity of older life stage macroinvertebrates could underestimate the effects of increasing salinity on freshwater macroinvertebrates. The salinity tolerance of the eggs and/or hatchlings of Glyptophysa gibbosa (Planorbidae), Glyptophysa aliciae, Glacidorbis sp. (Glacidorbidae), a Glossiponiidae, Piona cumberlandis (Pionidae), and Chironomus sp. (Chironomidae) were determined. The salinity tolerances of younger life-stages of species studied here and elsewhere were then compared to salinity tolerances of their mature aquatic or dominant life-stage. A diversity of responses have been observed with some species having similar salinity tolerances in all life-stages examined, whilst the eggs or hatchlings of other species had salinity tolerances ranging from 4% to 88% of their older life stages. On present knowledge, this diversity of responses presents some difficulties for simple rules of thumb to approximate sensitivity of young life-stages of freshwater macroinvertebrates inferred from their dominant stage's tolerance. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, B.V.