2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

A Dichotomous Key for Identifying the Crayfishes of Northern Missouri
Anna E. Hoffman
Dr. George L. Shinn, Faculty Mentor

Thirty five species of crayfish inhabit Missouri, but only 7 live north of the Missouri River. I constructed a dichotomous key for identifying these 7 species. My key was created using information derived from The Crayfish of Missouri published by the Missouri Department of Conservation. By using my key, a person can minimize the time spent identifying local crayfish, and minimize the probability of misidentifying them as one of the other 28 species occurring in the state. Important features used to distinguish species include the structure of the carapace (shell) and of external reproductive organs including the male gonopods and female seminal receptacle. My shortened key was tested by using it to identify locally collected crayfish specimens. Four species are especially common in the Kirksville, Missouri area. The Devil, Calico and Prairie Crayfishes are burrowing species, and the Virile crayfish inhabits open waters.

Keywords: Crayfish, Invertebrate, Dichotomous, Missouri, burrows, receptacle, gonopods, carapace

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-1
Location: SUB-GEO
Time: 4:15

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