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 amphipod on a rock

Amphipod (Scud) In Habitat

Amphipods are something like "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 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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Photo of backswimmer

Backswimmer (Viewed From Above)

Backswimmers usually swim back-downward (or belly-up).

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Photo of backswimmer, side view


About 32 North American species in the family Notonectidae
Sometimes called “water bees” or “water wasps,” backswimmers are predaceous and can deliver a painful bite if mishandled. True to their name, they swim belly-up, and their backs are keeled like a boat, which makes back-swimming easier.

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Fingers holding a stick covered with a football-shaped gelatinous blob

Bryozoan Colony Clinging to Stick

Bryozoans are colonial invertebrate animals that live in the water and build exoskeletons similar to those of corals. Freshwater bryozoans' exoskeletons are gelatinous or chitinous (like that of insects). Worldwide, bryozoans are found on every continent except Antarctica.

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Gray, speckled, translucent gelatinous blob cut in half to show structure

Bryozoan Colony Cut in Half

Bryozoan colonies of the species Pectinatella magnifica can form gelatinous masses as large as basketballs, although they are typically smaller. Colonies may be found free-floating or attached to submerged rocks, dock supports, logs, plastic debris or vegetation.

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