Insects aren't the only animals without backbones. There are many other invertebrates! How many can you name?
nursery web spider with carrying an egg sac
a huge pile of zebra mussel shells
These invasive critters remove incredible amounts of food from the water.
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illustration of an aquatic sowbug
The isopod is a scavenger that uses its seven pairs of legs to move around.
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a group of aquatic springtails
Just like people at a mall, these tiny wingless insect-like creatures mill around in huge numbers.
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front end of a bristle worm
These tiny, uncommon animals have pairs of bristles on each segment. They are sometimes called feather duster worms!
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prairie crayfish in an observation container
One of the most interesting of the aquatic animals.
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illustration of two copepods
The copepod is a small crustacean that looks like a swimming apostrophe mark (').
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Earthworm
Want to watch an earth-moving, dirt munching, soil making machine?
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Fairy shrimp, Photo Credit: Distant Hill Gardens
This graceful animal lives only in temporary ponds, never in pond
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Fingernail Clam
This pale tiny clam never gets bigger than a fingernail.
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six-spotted fishing spider resting on the top of the water
This water spider has eight legs, no wings, an
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Mussels
How would you like to have a shell, no eyes and catch your food with your nose? No?
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Horsehair Worm
This unsegmented worm looks just like a horsehair.
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photo of a tiny hydra clinging to algae
The amazing hydra is related to the jellyfish.
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Leech
Can you imagine one of your friends clinging onto you, sucking your blood?
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Freshwater mussels on rock in water
Winged mapleleaf, rock-pocketbook, monkeyface—sounds like World Wrestling Federation wrestlers?
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a snail with an elongate shell held in a person's hand
Think how hard it would be to carry your house on your back!
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Planaria
The planaria or flatworm looks a lot like a garden worm.
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photo of a quagga mussel
A quagga mussel feeds all year, even in winter.
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photo of rusty crayfish
Most alien invaders come from another country, but not this one.
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Scud
Can you tell why the scud is often called the sideswimmer?
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Seed shrimp, Photo Credit: Dann Thombs
This almost microscopic member of the freshwater plankton is a scavenger.
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photo of a tiny snow flea
What, snow has fleas? Where?
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Spider web with dew
Are you afraid of spiders? There's a name for that fear—Arachnophobia.
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a closeup look at a nematode
The threadworm is commonly found in bottom muck or sand throughout the world.
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Wood tick on a finger
You're likely to encounter these almost anytime of year while exploring outdoors. Learn the do's and don'ts with ticks.
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illustration of tubifex worms
This aquatic angleworm is right at home in mucky water.
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Water flea or daphnia
Did you ever itch to catch a water flea?
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Water mite
The water mite is a round critter with eight legs and one eye.
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a tiny fairy shrimp being held in a handful of water
Lake life is plentiful and not all lake creatures are easy to see.
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At a Glance

  • a huge pile of zebra mussel shells

    These invasive critters remove incredible amounts of food from the water.

  • illustration of an aquatic sowbug

    The isopod is a scavenger that uses its seven pairs of legs to move around.

  • a group of aquatic springtails

    Just like people at a mall, these tiny wingless insect-like creatures mill around in huge numbers.

  • front end of a bristle worm

    These tiny, uncommon animals have pairs of bristles on each segment. They are sometimes called feather duster worms!

  • prairie crayfish in an observation container

    One of the most interesting of the aquatic animals.