Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"


Spike (Ladyfinger)

Elliptio dilatata
Nacre color varies from purple to pink to white. In smaller rivers, the shell is much thinner.

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Image of a spothanded crayfish

Spothanded Crayfish

Orconectes punctimanus
This moderately large crayfish has a conspicuous black spot on each pincer near the base of the movable finger. In Missouri, it is found mostly in Ozark waterways in the southeastern quarter of the state, from Callaway, Montgomery and Warren counties south.

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Image of a fishing spider

Spotted Fishing Spider

Dolomedes triton
Spotted fishing spiders live around ponds, slow-moving streams, swampy areas, and other damp places. They are able to run across the surface of water much like water striders and will dive for prey, including small tadpoles or aquatic insects.

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Image of a st. francis river crayfish

St. Francis River Crayfish

Orconectes quadruncus
This crayfish is limited to the St. Francis River and its tributaries. It's a rather small, dark brown species, with blackish blotches or specks over the upper surfaces of the pincers, carapace and abdomen.

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Photo of an adult stonefly on a leaf


There are hundreds of species in North America
Stoneflies have a lot in common with mayflies, caddisflies, dragonflies and dobsonflies: They begin life as aquatic larvae, then molt and become winged adults. Many fish find stoneflies irresistible, and anglers take advantage of it!

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threehorn wartyback

Threehorn Wartyback

Obliquaria reflexa
Among all the mussels of Missouri, this is perhaps the easiest to recognize: As the shell grows, large knobs are produced, first on one shell and then on the other, in an alternating pattern.

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Amblema plicata
Sometimes called the blue-point, this mussel species is widely distributed in Missouri rivers and is occasionally found along reservoir margins.

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Photo of a pink planarian on a rock.

Turbellarians (Planarians; Free-Living Flatworms)

Various species in various genera (Dugesia, Planaria, etc.)
Turbellarians become the favorites of almost everyone who has taken the time to observe them. Unlike their parasitic cousins in the flatworm group, turbellarians are tiny carnivores or detritus-eaters that glide smoothly across submerged leaves and other objects.

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Image of a vernal crayfish

Vernal Crayfish

Procambarus viaeviridus
In our state, this crayfish is found only in the southeastern swamps, and then usually only seen in February and March. Adults are rust-red with a blackish wedge-shaped central stripe along the length of the abdomen.

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Image of a virile crayfish

Virile Crayfish

Oronectes virilis
This widespread, large crayfish is reddish-brown or green, without prominent markings. The pincers are green with orange tips and in adults are conspicuously studded with whitish knobs. Paired dark blotches run lengthwise along the abdomen.

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