Bivalve molluscs in order Unionoida
Secretive and seldom seen, freshwater mussels are extraordinarily diverse in Missouri. We have nearly 70 species within our borders. Many are declining, and several are endangered.
Faxonius virilis (formerly Oronectes virilis)
The virile crayfish is large, reddish brown or green, and lacks prominent markings. The pincers are green with orange tips and are studded with whitish knobs. Paired dark blotches run along the abdomen. This species is widespread.
About Aquatic Invertebrates in Missouri
Missouri's streams, lakes, and other aquatic habitats hold thousands of kinds of invertebrates — worms, freshwater mussels, snails, crayfish, insects, and other animals without backbones. These creatures are vital links in the aquatic food chain, and their presence and numbers tell us a lot about water quality.