Content tagged with "Aquatic Invertebrates"

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 several prosobranch pond snails crawling on a rock.

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 viewed through the surface of creek water.

Golden Crayfish

Orconectes luteus
The golden crayfish varies in color from olive green to golden yellow. 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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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 to Texas, including grasslands in northern and western Missouri.

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Photo of a gray-speckled crayfish.

Gray-Speckled Crayfish

Orconectes palmeri
The gray-speckled crayfish is gray with numerous greenish-black speckles and blotches. A pair of large blotches are present near the back of the head, and another pair occur where the carapace joins the abdomen. In Missouri, 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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Photo of Hubbs' crayfish.

Hubbs’ Crayfish

Cambarus hubbsi
Hubbs’ crayfish is powerfully built, olive-tan or reddish brown, with a narrow blackish band where the carapace and abdomen join. It has a limited range within the Ozarks of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

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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


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

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