A trophic terminology is proposed, based on the feeding function of benthic invertebrates. This function has four aspects; (I) food resources can bc characterized on the basis of composition, condition, size, and dispersion; (2) the location of benthic food resources is not random, but most are concentrated at the sediment-water interface with a decreasing amount above and below; (3) an organism accomplishes food resource selection on the basis of particle size, specific gravity relationships, and nutrient capacity; finally (4) organisms have developed food acquisition mechanisms which arc adaptations for dealing with small particles, large particles and masses, or fluids. The classification, comprising nine main groups of animals, makes clear the distinction between site-of-life and location of food acquistion. It accounts logically for the four aspects of feeding, and yet has the advantage of simplicity.