Invertebrates

Inverts

Invertebrates are animals that lack an internal skeleton. Many of them have an exoskeleton, which give their bodies protection and shape, such as the hard outer shell of lobsters and beetles. Some invertebrates are able to create their own protective shell out of calcium while others don't have a skeleton of any kind.

  • Arachnids

    Golden Orb Weaver

    Golden Silk Orb Weaver (Nephila clavipes)(Pictured) Large, black and yellow spiders, known for their brilliant golden webs.

    Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus) Named for their horseshoe-like shape and hard outer shells, actually closer related to spiders than crabs.

    Spiny Orb-weaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) Crab-like spiders, bright white and covered in red spines and small black spots.

    Florida Black Scorpian (Centruroides gracilis) Can grow to be 15 centimeters in length. They come in a variety of colors including red, black, dark brown or a mix of these colors.

  • Butterflies

    Gulf Fritillary

    Gulf Fritillary (Argraulis vanillae)(Pictured) Bright orange in color, named for its expansive migration across the Gulf of Mexico.

    Mangrove Buckeye (Junonia evarete) Brown and orange wings with large "eyes" on them, effective in scaring away predators.

    Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia) Elongated wings covered in black and yellow stripes, official state butterfly of Florida.

  • Crustaceans

    Fiddler Crab

    Sand Fiddler Crab (Uca pugilator) (Pictured) Known for males having one claw that is disproportionately larger, used to win mates and territories.

    Mangrove Tree Crab (Aratus pisonii) Small crabs that live on mangrove tree roots and feed on mangrove leaves and animal matter.

    Barnacles (Cirripedia sp.) Found in intertidal areas, they never leave their shells and extend appendages in order to catch prey.

  • Mollusks

    Horse Conch

    Horse Conch (Triplofusus giganteus) A gastropod, which means it is a mollusk that has one shell. Their shells can reach 24 inches and can be orange, grey, white, tan, or dark brown in color.

    Mangrove Periwinkle (Littorina angulifera) A small snail that can be found in mangrove forests. Their colors vary from blue, white, orange yellow, red, brown, and gray.

    Lightening Whelk (Busycon Sinistrum) A marine gastropod (single shelled mollusk) that has a left handed shell. Their main food source is mostly bivalves (two shelled mollusks).