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Document Type

Undergraduate Research

Creation Date

Spring 4-8-2015




Kansas is home to a variety of aquatic snails. Unlike many organisms today, there are many unidentified species due to the lack of suitable key. Because of this, there is uncertainty in which species are resent in Kansas. The purpose of this study is to create a preliminary identification key that can be used to determine common species of aquatic snails in Kansas. The main identification tool is shell characteristics. Its use can lead to a better understanding of what species live within the state borders. A series of existing dichotomous keys and identification material were compiled to address the species that might be found within Kansas, based on earlier work. Using this information, characteristics known to be distinctive of each species were used to create the alternatives used in the key. In addition to existing work, specimens in the Biology Department collection were used as samples to test the key and make necessary modifications. Photographs of collected specimens were used to provide a visual aid to the key. In conclusion, a preliminary key to the aquatic snails in Kansas was successfully constructed. The key will be capable of identifying the likely aquatic snails of Kansas, including both native and introduced species. In addition, the key can be utilized by professionals or amateur collectors.


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