Field Guide

Aquatic Invertebrates

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results
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deertoe
Species Types
Scientific Name
Truncilla truncata
Description
A common mussel in some areas, deertoe have decorative green markings.
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elktoe
Species Types
Scientific Name
Alasmidonta marginata
Description
The elktoe is one of many Missouri mussels with a declining population.
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pond mussel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Bivalve molluscs in order Unionoida
Description
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.
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giant floater
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pygandon grandis
Description
When a floater dies, this large mussel with a thick shell will actually rise to the water surface and float as it decays.
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pimpleback
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quadrula pustulosa
Description
While the pimpleback is usually bumpy, some individuals are perfectly smooth.
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pink mucket
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lampsilis abrupta
Description
This endangered native mussel lives in flowing waters of large streams among gravel and cobble.
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plain pocketbook
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lampsilis cardium
Description
The plain pocketbook is one of the most common and widespread mussels in our state. It is oval, relatively large, and occurs frequently.
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wabash pigtoe
Species Types
Scientific Name
Fusconaia flava
Description
A widespread mussel that releases its larvae in tiny red packages to attract fish hosts.
See Also

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.