Field Guide

Aquatic Invertebrates

Showing 1 - 10 of 16 results
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butterfly
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ellipsaria lineolata
Description
The butterfly is one of the most beautiful of Missouri’s mussels.
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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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fatmucket
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lampsilis siliquoidea
Description
The fatmucket was a favorite species harvested for the button industry in the early 1900s.
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fragile papershell
Species Types
Scientific Name
Leptodea fragilis
Description
A widespread mussel that relies on freshwater drum as host fish for the developing young.
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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.
Media
maple leaf
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quadrula quadrula
Description
The mapleleaf spawns in the summer, using catfish as a host.
Media
mucket
Species Types
Scientific Name
Actinonaias ligamentina
Description
One of the most widespread and numerous mussels in southern Missouri.
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paper pondshell
Species Types
Scientific Name
Utterbackia imbecillis
Description
Unlike most other freshwater mussels, this species is hermaphrodic: An individual mussel can be both male and female.
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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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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.
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.