Field Guide

Aquatic Invertebrates

Showing 1 - 10 of 34 results
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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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brokenray
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lampsilis reeveiana
Description
The Arkansas brokenray only occurs in streams that flow south off of the Salem and Springfield plateaus, so it is found only in about the southern quarter of Missouri.
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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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lilliput
Species Types
Scientific Name
Toxolasma parvus
Description
These diminutive mollusks are the smallest of Missouri’s freshwater mussels.
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monkeyface
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quadrula metanevra
Description
Finding the monkey’s face in this mussel's shell is left up to the imagination.
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pistolgrip
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tritogonia verrucosa
Description
Shaped like a checkered gunstock, with its unique, turned-down edge, pistolgrips are easy to identify.
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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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threeridge
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amblema plicata
Description
Sometimes called the blue-point, this mussel species is widely distributed in Missouri rivers and is occasionally found along reservoir margins.
Media
Two pairs of Asian clam shells, still hinged together, showing exterior and interior
Species Types
Scientific Name
Corbicula fluminea
Description
The Asian clam is a nonnative, invasive species that lives in a variety of aquatic habitats. It has thick shells with distinctly ridged, concentric rings and a yellowish-brown to dark brown shell covering.
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butterfly
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ellipsaria lineolata
Description
The butterfly is one of the most beautiful of Missouri’s mussels.
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.