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Content tagged with "aquatic invertebrate"

Photo of an adult damselfly on a twig next to water.

Adult Damselfly

Adult damselflies have very slender, elongated abdomens, delicate bodies, and 2 pairs of wings that are typically held together over the body. Adult damselflies are usually found near water.

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Photo of an adult damselfly eating an insect

Adult Damselfly Eating Insect

The legs of damselflies are held in a basket shape during flight, which is perfect for grasping small flying insects.

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Photo of an amphipod, or scud, on a rock.

Amphipod (Scud)

Amphipods could be described as “shrimplike sowbugs.” The overall body plan is very similar to that of sowbugs, but their arched bodies are flattened sideways, like shrimp.

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Photo of several amphipods in the palm of a hand.

Amphipods (Scuds) Are Small Aquatic Invertebrates

All of Missouri's species of amphipods are aquatic, and some live in caves. The size varies on the species; almost all are less than 1 inch long.

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Aquatic Invertebrates

Missouri is home to thousands of kinds of animals without backbones that live in the water. Learn about our crayfish, clams, snails, leeches and aquatic insects.

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Photo of an aquatic isopod in an aquarium, crawling on a rock.

Aquatic Isopod

Some freshwater isopods, like this one, look a lot like the familiar land isopods that live under rocks in gardens. They are all members of the isopod order of crustaceans. This picture was taken of an aquatic isopod in an aquarium. In nature, freshwater isopods are usually associated with debris-cluttered pool bottoms.

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Photo of an aquatic isopod in an aquarium, viewed from side.

Aquatic Isopod

One key feature of isopods, which separates them from the similar amphipods, is that isopods are flattened top-to-bottom, and not side-to-side. This picture was taken of an isopod in an aquarium. In nature, freshwater isopods are usually associated with debris-cluttered pool bottoms.

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Photo of an aquatic isopod in an aquarium, ventral view showing eggs.

Aquatic Isopod With Eggs

Mature female isopods have special appendages under their bodies that form a brood pouch, called a marsupium (that same term is used for opossum and kangaroo pouches). The female lays her eggs directly into the marsupium; as the young develop, they undergo their initial molts within its safety.

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Photo of an aquatic isopod in an aquarium, crawling on a rock.

Aquatic Pillbugs and Sowbugs (Aquatic Isopods)

Freshwater aquatic members of the crustacean order Isopoda
Everyone knows about terrestrial sowbugs and pillbugs, but many isopod species are aquatic. Missouri has several isopods that live in streams, ponds, rivers, and caves.

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Photo of backswimmer, side view

Backswimmer (Side View)

Backswimmers rest at the water surface tilted head-downward, with the abdomen tip protruding from the water. The oarlike hind legs are usually extended downward at angles to the body.

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