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Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"

Photo of a grassland crayfish, also called prairie crayfish.

Grassland Crayfish (Prairie Crayfish)

Procambarus gracilis
The grassland crayfish is rather uniformly colored either bright red or reddish and has broad, powerful pincers. It inhabits prairies and grasslands from Wisconsin and Indiana down to Texas, including grasslands in northern and western Missouri.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Hydras

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?

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Photo of a leech

Leeches

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.

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lilliput

Lilliput

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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