Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"

Backswimmers

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. More

Belted Crayfish

Image of a belted crayfish
Orconectes harrisoni
This medium-small, tan crayfish — found only in the Big River and its tributaries — has a distinctive pattern of alternating olive-green and reddish-brown bands on the abdominal segments. More

Big Creek Crayfish

Image of a big creek crayfish
Orconectes peruncus
This moderately small, brown crayfish 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. More

Bluefer (Purpleshell)

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

Brokenray

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

Bryozoans (Moss Animals)

Gray, speckled, translucent gelatinous blob cut in half to show structure
Freshwater species in the phylum Bryozoa
Bryozoans are tiny, filter-feeding invertebrates. They create colonies that can be mossy, branching, or round and jellylike. More

Butterfly

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

Caddisflies

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. More

Cajun Dwarf Crayfish and Swamp Dwarf Crayfish

Image of a cajun dwarf crayfish
Cambarellus puer and C. shufeldtii
Our two species of dwarf crayfish are both reddish brown to gray, with a paired series of dark, wavy stripes or dashed lines along the dorsal surface. In Missouri, these species are found in the lowlands of the southeast or the Mississippi River floodplain. More

Calico Crayfish

Image of a calico crayfish
Orconectes immunis
This rather plain, gray-green crayfish--usually only found in the northern half of the state--has a pale central zone along the middle of the carapace and abdomen. The pincers are orange-tipped, and in mature males are tinged with purple. More