Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"

Image of a golden crayfish

Golden Crayfish

Orconectes luteus
This wide-ranging species is quite variable in color, but it is typically olive-green suffused with golden yellow. The antennae and many body parts are trimmed with bright 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.

Read more

Image of a gray-speckled crayfish

Gray-Speckled Crayfish

Orconectes palmeri
This crayfish is gray with numerous greenish-black speckles and blotches on the pincers, carapace and abdomen. A pair of large blotches are present near the back of the head, and another pair occur near the junction of the carapace and abdomen. In our state, it is found only in the southeastern section.

Read more

image of Horse Fly on tree trunk

Horse and Deer Flies

Tabanus, Chrysops, and related genera
Meet the horse fly: Stealthily, one will land on your back, slice your skin, and lap your blood. By the time it starts to hurt and you swat at it, the painful, itchy welt is rising.

Read more

Image of hubbs' crayfish

Hubbs' Crayfish

Cambarus hubbsi
This powerfully built crayfish is usually olive-tan or reddish brown, without prominent spots or blotches. A narrow blackish band is present at the junction of the carapace and abdomen. In our state, it is limited to the Ozarks of southern Missouri.

Read more


Various species in the genus Hydra
We’ve all seen aquariums and pictures of tropical saltwater invertebrates such as corals, jellyfish and anemones—but did you know that there are similar creatures living in the freshwater habitats of Missouri?

Read more

Photo of a leech


Various species in the subclass Hirudinea
Who isn't repulsed by leeches! Yet once you get past the fact that many species are parasitic bloodsuckers, you will discover that they are fascinating creatures.

Read more



Toxolasma parvus
These diminutive mollusks are the smallest of Missouri’s freshwater mussels.

Read more

Image of a long-pincered crayfish

Long-Pincered Crayfish

Orconectes longidigitus
This large, colorful crayfish--restricted to the White River basin in the Ozarks--is characterized by very long, slender, blue-green pincers that are studded with prominent yellowish knobs.

Read more

Photo of pulmonate snail crawling on rock

Lunged Aquatic Snails (Pulmonate Pond Snails)

Over 30 Missouri species in former subclass Pulmonata
This is one of the two broad categories of aquatic snails in Missouri (the other is the gilled snails, or prosobranchs). Pulmonate snails breathe via a lunglike pulmonary cavity, and they lack a hard trapdoor-like operculum. Except for in the Ozarks, pulmonate snails predominate in most of the aquatic regions in our state.

Read more

Image of a mammoth spring crayfish

Mammoth Spring Crayfish

Orconectes marchandi
This species has a very localized distribution: In our state, it's found only in the Warm Fork of Spring River, in Oregon County. This crayfish is reddish-brown and its broad, powerful pincers have numerous blackish specks on their basal parts.

Read more