Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"



Alasmidonta marginata
The elktoe is one of many Missouri mussels with a declining population.

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Ellipse and Bleedingtooth

Venustaconcha ellipsiformis and V. pleasii
These small mussels use darters, a type of fish, as hosts for their young.

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Lampsilis siliquoidea
The fatmucket was a favorite species harvested for the button industry in the early 1900s.

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fragile papershell

Fragile Papershell

Leptodea fragilis
A widespread mussel that relies on freshwater drum as host fish for the developing young.

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Photo of a freckled crayfish.

Freckled Crayfish

Cambarus maculatus
The freckled crayfish is powerfully built, yellowish tan, with numerous conspicuous black spots on its pincers, carapace, and abdomen. It is largely restricted to the Courtois Hills section of the Meramec River basin.

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Photo of a freshwater jellyfish

Freshwater Jellyfish

Craspedacusta sowerbyii
We’ve all heard horror stories about stinging jellyfish in the ocean, but did you know that there are similar creatures living in the freshwater of Missouri? Fortunately, they’re harmless!

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giant floater

Giant Floater

Pygandon grandis
When a floater dies, this large mussel with a thick shell will actually rise to the water surface and float as it decays.

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Photo of a giant water bug

Giant Water Bugs

Species in the genera Abedus, Belostoma, and Lethocerus
Giant water bugs are huge aquatic insects that frequently fly around electric lights at night. They are infamous for the painful bite they can deliver, but fish, birds — and some people — find them tasty!

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Photo of a gilled aquatic snail

Gilled Aquatic Snails (Prosobranch Pond Snails)

Over 20 Missouri species in former subclass Prosobranchia
Gilled snails are one of two main groups of aquatic snails in Missouri (the other group is the "lunged" snails). Gilled snails, or prosobranchs, breathe with gills and possess a hard trapdoor-like operculum. They are most common in the Ozarks.

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Photo of a golden crayfish.

Golden Crayfish

Orconectes luteus
The golden crayfish varies in color, typically olive green to golden yellow. The antennae and many body parts are trimmed with red. A dark band crosses the head just in front of the cervical groove, and another crosses the carapace at its junction with the abdomen. It's a wide-ranging species.

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