Freshwater Invertebrates

MMNS Freshwater Invertebrate Research

Freshwater invertebrate research at the Museum of Natural Science is directed primarily at the status and distribution of crayfish and freshwater mussels within Mississippi.

Current/Recent Research

  • Status survey for freshwater mussels in the Big Black River, Mississippi
  • Occurrence and distribution of freshwater mussels in Bear Creek (Tishomingo County), Mississippi
  • Production of the Guide to the Identification and Distribution of Freshwater Mussels in (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in Mississippi
  • Composition and stability of freshwater mussel communities in the Buttahatchee River
  • Distribution and ecology of the crawfish genus Hobbseus in Mississippi
  • Genetic survey of Mississippi-based Procambarus (Pennides) crawfish

Recent Publications or Technical Reports

Ellwanger RJ, Rezac CR, and BH Chaffins, 2021.  SURVEY OF FRESHWATER MUSSELS IN THE BIG BLACK RIVER IN MISSISSIPPI. MMNS Technical Report 216. Funded by USFWS, Section 6.

Wagner MD and RJ Ellwanger. 2020. The Distribution and Status of Freshwater Mussels in the Bear Creek Watershed in Mississippi. MMNS Technical Report 212. Funded by USFWS, Section 6.

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Jones RL, Wagner MD, Slack WT, Peyton JS, and P Hartfield. 2019. Guide to the Identification and Distribution of Freshwater Mussels in (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in Mississippi. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Book, 340 pages.

Feist SM, Jones RL. 2016. Using genetics to differentiate, and clarify distribution of, Procambarus penni and Procambarus clemmeri in Mississippi. MMNS Technical Report 194. Funded by USFWS, State Wildlife Grant.

Jones RL. 2013. Literature and museum database review of seventeen species of crawfish in Mississippi proposed for federal listing in a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. MMNS Technical Report 179. Funded by USFWS.

Contact:  Robert Ellwanger at

Federally Threatened Round Hickorynut

Female Pocketbook Mussel Displaying Lure

MDWFP biologists sampling the Big Black River

Plain Pocketbook Mussel

Washboard Mussel

Lagniappe crayfish (Procambarus lagniappe) from a Sucarnoochee River tributary.

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