Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"

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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Photo of a vernal crayfish.

Vernal Crayfish

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

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wabash pigtoe

Wabash Pigtoe

Fusconaia flava
A widespread mussel that releases its larvae in tiny red packages to attract fish hosts.

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Quadrula nodulata
This favored habitat of this vulnerable species is large streams or rivers in firm sand and mud. The bumps on the shell may help to anchor it in the river bottom.

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Photo of a water boatman

Water Boatmen

About 125 species in North America in the family Corixidae
Water boatmen are one of the few aquatic “true bugs” that are not predaceous and do not bite people. Instead, they suck juices from algae and detritus. Only a few species eat other small aquatic creatures. Learn more about these nifty water bugs.

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Photo of two water penny beetles clinging to a wet rock.

Water Penny Beetles

Beetles in the family Psephenidae
Water pennies are one of the truly nifty aquatic invertebrates that bring out the child in all of us. Some of them really do look like pennies!

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Photo of a collared water scavenger beetle showing back.

Water Scavenger Beetles

Beetles in the family Hydrophilidae
Water scavenger beetles are a mostly aquatic family. They are similar to predaceous diving beetles, but unlike them many have a distinctive spine running down the center of their bellies.

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Photo of a single water strider

Water Striders

Aquarius remigis; also species in the genus Gerris
Also called “pond skaters” and “water spiders,” water striders are hard not to notice. Water-repellant hairs on the hind and middle legs allow these nimble insects to skate on the surface of the water.

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