Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"

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


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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Photo of a belted crayfish, also called Big River crayfish.

Belted Crayfish (Big River Crayfish)

Orconectes harrisoni
The belted crayfish is medium-small, tan, with a distinctive pattern of alternating olive-green and reddish-brown bands on the abdominal segments. It is found only in the Big River and its tributaries.

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Photo of a Big Creek crayfish.

Big Creek Crayfish

Orconectes peruncus
The Big Creek crayfish is moderately small and brown. It has a very localized distribution centered in Big Creek and its tributaries, in the St. Francis River basin. It lacks bright colors, but blackish specks and blotches occur over the top surfaces of the body and pincers.

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Bluefer (Purpleshell)

Potamilus purpuratus
Like the pink heelsplitter and fragile and pink papershells, the bluefer uses freshwater drum as a host.

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Photo of a bristly cave crayfish, viewed from the side.

Bristly Cave Crayfish

Cambarus setosus
The bristly cave crayfish is a whitish crayfish with small, unpigmented eyes and long, slender pincers with noticeable setae (bristles). It lives in caves in the Springfield Plateau region of the Ozarks.

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Lampsilis reeveiana
Includes three subspecies, Ozark (broken rays), Northern (Britt’s) and Arkansas (Reeve’s).

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

Bryozoans (Moss Animals)

Freshwater species in the phylum Bryozoa
Bryozoans are tiny, filter-feeding invertebrates. They create colonies that can be mossy, branching, or round and jellylike.

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Ellipsaria lineolata
The butterfly is one of the most beautiful of Missouri’s mussels.

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image of Caddisfly on leaf


Various species in the order Trichoptera
The adults are mothlike. The aquatic larvae are famous for building portable, protective cases out of local materials, including grains of sand, bits of leaves and twigs, and other debris.

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