Alasmidonta marginata - Say, 1818
Elktoe
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Alasmidonta marginata Say, 1818 (TSN 79918)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.109839
Element Code: IMBIV02040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Alasmidonta
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B98TUR01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Alasmidonta marginata
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Jan2009
Global Status Last Changed: 16Jul1997
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This species is widely distributed but is never abundant at any particular site, often occurring as single individuals. It has been extirpated from certain parts of the outer edges of its range and although still fairly common, recently it has experienced some decline (around 10-20% overall) in several areas but primarily is considered secure throughout the main portion of its range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (16Jul1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3N4 (03Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S1), Arkansas (S3), District of Columbia (SNR), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S3), Iowa (S3), Kansas (S1), Kentucky (S2), Louisiana (SU), Michigan (S3?), Minnesota (S2), Missouri (S2), Nebraska (SNR), New York (S4), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (S3), Oklahoma (S1), Pennsylvania (S3S4), South Dakota (S1), Tennessee (S4), Vermont (S1), Virginia (S1S2), West Virginia (S2), Wisconsin (S3)
Canada Ontario (S3), Quebec (S1)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
American Fisheries Society Status: Special Concern (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species ranges in the north from Ontario, Canada (Great Lakes and St. Lawrence drainage) south to Alabama (Tennessee drainage) and on the east from New York (Susquehanna and St. Lawrence drainages) to Virginia (Ohio drainage) and on the west from eastern North Dakota to northeastern Oklahoma (historic records only), with the center of abundance being in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998; Burch, 1989; Clarke, 1981). Starret (1971) reported that it historically occurred in the upper and middle parts of the Illinois River in Illinois but was eliminated by pollution following the opening of the Chicago Sanitary Canal in 1900. Ortman (1919) also indicated that this species had been extirpated from the Monongahela drainage in Pennsylvania. Today the entire main Cheat River is devoid of unionid bivalves due to acid mine drainage. The Atlantic slope form (var. susquehannae) is found in the Susquehanna basin of Pennsylvania and New York as well as the upper St. Lawrence River, Canada (Ortman, 1919; Johnson, 1970). It has not been reported in Alabama for several decades so likely extirpated there (Mirarchi et al., 2004). Parmalee and Bogan (1998) cite it as formerly occurring in the Watauga, Elk, and Buffalo Rivers and preimpoundment main channels of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in Tennessee, but no longer.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Ohio alone has over 100 occurrences; primarily in free-flowing large creeks in most Ohio and Lake Erie tribs. (rare in unglaciated Ohio) (Watters, 1995; Lyons et al., 2007; Watters et al., 2009). Four states (Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin) have a substantial number of populations and it is known to occur in at least 14 states. In Illinois, it is generally distributed though uncommon in the northern half (Cummings and Mayer, 1997; Schanzle and Cummings, 1991; Tiemann et al., 2005); also upper Illinois (Sietman et al., 2001). It was recently documented in the Fox River basin in Illinois and Wisconsin (Schanzle et al., 2004). In Indiana it occurs in the St. Joseph and Maumee (Pryor, 2005), lower East Fork White (Harmon, 1992) and Tippecanoe (Cummings and Berlocher, 1990). Kentucky has 70 occurrences listed with only 23 extant (in 15 counties) sporadically throughout the eastern half of the state (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003; Clark, 1988). In Tennessee, it occurs in small and medium streams of the Tennessee and Cumberland River drainages, east/middle Tennessee including unimpounded stretches of the Clinch and Powell Rivers, Nolichucky, Hiwassee, and Duck and Red Rivers as well as small tributary streams of these rivers (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Reported by Johnson et al. (2005) from the Hiwassee River inside/ear Cherokee National Forest, Polk Co., Tennessee. In Alabama it is only known since 1909 from one midden shell from Paint Rock River in 2004 (Williams et al., 2008). In Minnesota, it is rare to uncommon in the Mississippi River below St. Anthony Falls and some southeastern streams including the St. Croix River drainage (Sietman, 2003). In Wisconsin, it is widespread though spotty but with several populations with high numbers (Mathiak, 1979). In South Dakota, this species is very rare with a few shells reported from the Big Sioux River (Backlund, 2000; Skadsen and Perkins, 2000). Although Vidrine (1993) did not report the species in Louisiana, it does occur just over the border in southern Arkansas. It occurs in the lower Arkansas (Frog Bayou) in Arkansas (Gordon, 1985). In Missouri, it can be found in most rivers draining the Springfield and Salem plateaus and can also be found in two of the tributaries of the Mississippi River- the Salt River and Cuivre River (Oesch, 1995). It is rare in Oklahoma in the Illinois and Neosho Rivers (Branson, 1983). In Kansas, it is known from the Spring River (Branson, 1966- to OK) where it is rare and the Marais des Cygnes River (Couch, 1997). New sites were discovered in the Greenbrier River drainage in West Virginia (anonymous, 1996) and it is in the New River, West Virginia (Jirka and Neves, 1990). In Virginia, it occurred widely in the New River tributaries draining the Ride and Valley and Blue Ridge, but recently is very rare (1 site) in the Upper New River drainage (Pinder et al., 2002), rare Reed Creek, Sinking Creek (Giles Co.), and Wolf Creek (Bland Co.) (Pinder et al., 2002), upper South Fork Holston (Stansbery and Clench, 1978). It is historical in the Upper Clinch in Virginia (Jones et al., 2001). Specimens from the Black River (St. Clair drainage- see Strayer, 1980), Michigan, were relocated to the Detroit River in 1992 (Trdan and Hoeh, 1993); also in southern upper peninsula (Goodrich and Van der Schalie, 1939), Kalamazoo River (Mulcrone and Mehlne, 2001), Lake Michigan, St. Clair-Detroit (Badra and Goforth, 2003). Though not common it Pennsylvania, it is known from the Susquehanna and Ohio drainages and Little Mahoning Creek (Chapman and Smith, 2008). In 2007 it was reported from the Lamoille River, Vermont, between Fairfax Falls and Fairfax to Georgia, the first state record (Kart et al., 2005). In Canada, it is broadly distributed throughout the Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario drainages and is frequently encountered and often plentiful (Metcalfe-Smith and Cadmore-Vokey, 2004).

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Although wide ranging, this species usually occurs in very small numbers, with survey efforts often yielding only one individual at a site; some states have significant populations. Smith and Crabtree (2010) found this species at 9 of 32 sites (7 with recruitment) along the entire length of Pennsylvania's French Creek.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: This species is almost never abundant at any given site, although as many as a dozen occurrences can be considered of good viability; including St. Croix River drainage in Minnesota (Sietman, 2003).

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The most common threats to this species noted by the states are agricultural, urban and industrial runoff, impoundments or altered hydrology, coal mining (acid mine drainage, increased sedimentation, etc.), oil and gas development, stream gravel removal, and clear cutting of forest and riparian vegetation. As with most unionid bivalves, historically the most serious threat to riverine species has been impoundment. Impoundment removes the current which is necessary for most species to maintain their basic physiological processes such as feeding. Reduced water flow also results in settling out of suspended solids, such as silt, and decreased oxygen concentrations in bottom water. Because of stratification within the impoundment, water released from the lowest depths of a reservoir will be colder and lower in water quality. Reduced water quality exists due to accumulation of more silt which may contain contaminants, and less oxygen and therefore will most likely be less able to sustain mussel populations downstream. Surface water from the reservoir could be beneficial to mussels below the dam by supplying an organic rich food supply (phytoplankton). Regulation of a more constant water flow through controlled releases may also benefit mussels downstream however the contrary is more common with the dewatering of downstream areas when water is held upstream for a later 'controlled release'. Dams may also serve as barrier to host fish movements. Fuller (1974) listed 'trash fish' removal as a threat to unionids in general due to host fish lost. This practice to enhance sport fishing is no longer common practice though host fish loss is still a threat from habitat loss. Species like A. MARGINATA, whose range extends into Appalachia are impacted by coal-mines from strip-mining, silt, and coal washings (Ahlstedt and Brown 1980). Acidity from acid mine drainage effects the shells of the mussels. Mussels living in streams in agricultural areas may experience runoff from farms containing herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and silt. In other areas industrial and residential pollution and sewage may be a problem. Dredging, whether for channel modification or for the recovery of sand and gravel, can also impact mussels by destruction of habitat or the removal of individuals. A serious threat to freshwater mussels is siltation, which is a result of mining and associated practices, road construction, farming and logging (USFWS, 1985; Dennis, 1984). Heavy loads of silt washed into rivers and streams can potentially bury the heavy-shelled riverine species (Ellis, 1936). Silt can also interfere with feeding, effectively diluting the amount of food that the mussels are able to ingest (Dennis, 1984). Natural threats include raccoons and muskrats as predators.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: In Canada, this species shows no evidence of decline and may be increasing in abundance in some locations in Ontario (Metcalfe-Smith and Cadmore-Vokey, 2004). Significant declines have occurred in Virginia where this species is on the verge of state extirpation (Pinder et al., 2002). Starret (1971) reported that it historically occurred in the upper and middle parts of the Illinois River in Illinois but was eliminated by pollution following the opening of the Chicago Sanitary Canal in 1900. Ortman (1919) also indicated that this species had been extirpated from the Monongahela drainage in Pennsylvania. Today the entire main Cheat River is devoid of unionid bivalves due to acid mine drainage. It has not been reported in Alabama for several decades so likely extirpated there (Mirarchi et al., 2004) with the last reported specimen from 1909 in Shoal Creek, Lauderdale Co., with the exception fo a single shell from a muskrat midden in 2004 from the Paint Rock River in Jackson Co. (Williams et al., 2008). Parmalee and Bogan (1998) cite it as formerly occurring in the Watauga, Elk, and Buffalo Rivers and preimpoundment main channels of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in Tennessee, but no longer. It is likely extirpated from Swan Creek (Lower Maumee drainage) in Ohio (Grabarciewicz, 2008).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: This species is extremely rare or extirpated from the North Fork Holston River, Virginia (Jones and Neves, 2007). It occurred historically in Alabama in the Tennessee River but was rare with the only recent material being a midden shell on the Paint Rock River, Jackson Co. in 2004, and Shoal Creek, Lauderdale Co. in 1909 (Williams et al., 2008).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Sensitive to pollution, siltation, habitat loss, impoundment, and loss of fish hosts.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Although it occurs in large to medium sized streams, it is more typical of smaller streams (Buchanan, 1980; Goodrich and Van Der Schalie, 1944; Oesch, 1984; Parmalee, 1967; Wilson and Clark, 1914). Ortman (1919) described it as a riffle species that is found in swift current in firmly packed fine to course gravel. Parmalee (1967) reported the preferred habitat to be small streams with good current and sand or gravel bottoms at depths of several inches to two feet. Buchanan (1980) found it to be common in gravel and cobble substrate in two to 18 inches of water, Neel and Allen (1964) found it to be more abundant in the mainstream Cumberland River than in small streams. Parmalee and Bogan (1998) state that it reaches its greatest abundance in small, shallow rivers with a moderately fast current in a mixture of fine gravel and sand.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Historical sites need to be revisited in order to determine the present day status of this species.

Protection Needs: Work with local, state and federal agencies on issues relating to development, water quality, preservation and restoration of habitat.

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) This species ranges in the north from Ontario, Canada (Great Lakes and St. Lawrence drainage) south to Alabama (Tennessee drainage) and on the east from New York (Susquehanna and St. Lawrence drainages) to Virginia (Ohio drainage) and on the west from eastern North Dakota to northeastern Oklahoma (historic records only), with the center of abundance being in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998; Burch, 1989; Clarke, 1981). Starret (1971) reported that it historically occurred in the upper and middle parts of the Illinois River in Illinois but was eliminated by pollution following the opening of the Chicago Sanitary Canal in 1900. Ortman (1919) also indicated that this species had been extirpated from the Monongahela drainage in Pennsylvania. Today the entire main Cheat River is devoid of unionid bivalves due to acid mine drainage. The Atlantic slope form (var. susquehannae) is found in the Susquehanna basin of Pennsylvania and New York as well as the upper St. Lawrence River, Canada (Ortman, 1919; Johnson, 1970). It has not been reported in Alabama for several decades so likely extirpated there (Mirarchi et al., 2004). Parmalee and Bogan (1998) cite it as formerly occurring in the Watauga, Elk, and Buffalo Rivers and preimpoundment main channels of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in Tennessee, but no longer.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NY, OH, OK, PA, SD, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Franklin (01059)*, Jackson (01071)*, Lauderdale (01077)*, Madison (01089)*
AR Ashley (05003), Benton (05007), Bradley (05011), Carroll (05015), Clark (05019), Clay (05021), Cleveland (05025), Crawford (05033), Dallas (05039), Drew (05043), Fulton (05049), Grant (05053), Hot Spring (05059), Izard (05065), Johnson (05071), Lawrence (05075), Madison (05087), Marion (05089), Montgomery (05097), Nevada (05099), Newton (05101), Ouachita (05103), Pike (05109), Polk (05113), Pope (05115), Randolph (05121), Saline (05125), Searcy (05129), Sharp (05135), Stone (05137), Van Buren (05141)
IA Allamakee (19005), Bremer (19017), Buchanan (19019), Delaware (19055), Floyd (19067), Hardin (19083), Howard (19089), Humboldt (19091), Jones (19105), Linn (19113), Mitchell (19131), Winneshiek (19191)
KS Cherokee (20021)
KY Bath (21011), Campbell (21037), Cumberland (21057)*, Edmonson (21061), Elliott (21063), Fleming (21069), Franklin (21073), Green (21087), Hardin (21093), Harrison (21097), Hart (21099), Jackson (21109), Jefferson (21111)*, Kenton (21117), Knott (21119), Laurel (21125), Logan (21141), Marion (21155)*, McCreary (21147)*, Menifee (21165), Nicholas (21181), Pendleton (21191), Powell (21197), Pulaski (21199)*, Robertson (21201), Rockcastle (21203), Rowan (21205), Russell (21207)*, Taylor (21217)*, Trigg (21221)*, Warren (21227)*, Wayne (21231)*, Wolfe (21237)
MI Allegan (26005), Barry (26015), Bay (26017)*, Berrien (26021), Calhoun (26025), Clare (26035), Clinton (26037), Dickinson (26043), Eaton (26045), Genesee (26049)*, Gladwin (26051)*, Gratiot (26057), Hillsdale (26059), Ingham (26065), Ionia (26067), Iron (26071), Isabella (26073), Jackson (26075), Kalamazoo (26077), Kent (26081), Lenawee (26091), Livingston (26093), Mackinac (26097)*, Macomb (26099), Mecosta (26107)*, Menominee (26109), Midland (26111), Missaukee (26113), Monroe (26115), Montcalm (26117), Newaygo (26123)*, Oakland (26125), Osceola (26133), Ottawa (26139)*, Roscommon (26143)*, Saginaw (26145), Sanilac (26151), Shiawassee (26155), St. Clair (26147), St. Joseph (26149), Tuscola (26157), Van Buren (26159)*, Washtenaw (26161), Wayne (26163)
MN Blue Earth (27013), Brown (27015), Carlton (27017), Carver (27019), Chippewa (27023), Chisago (27025), Dakota (27037), Fillmore (27045), Goodhue (27049), Hennepin (27053), Houston (27055), Kanabec (27065), Lac Qui Parle (27073), Le Sueur (27079), Lyon (27083), Mower (27099), Nicollet (27103), Olmsted (27109), Pine (27115), Ramsey (27123), Redwood (27127), Renville (27129), Scott (27139), Sibley (27143), Stevens (27149), Swift (27151), Wabasha (27157), Washington (27163), Winona (27169), Wright (27171), Yellow Medicine (27173)
MO Bollinger (29017), Butler (29023), Carter (29035), Cedar (29039), Christian (29043), Crawford (29055)*, Dunklin (29069), Franklin (29071), Gasconade (29073), Greene (29077), Hickory (29085), Jasper (29097), Jefferson (29099), Laclede (29105), Madison (29123), Maries (29125), McDonald (29119)*, Newton (29145), Osage (29151), Phelps (29161), Polk (29167), Pulaski (29169), St. Clair (29185), St. Louis (29189), Stone (29209), Texas (29215), Wayne (29223), Wright (29229)
OH Ashtabula (39007), Clermont (39025), Coshocton (39031), Defiance (39039), Delaware (39041), Franklin (39049), Hamilton (39061), Hancock (39063), Lake (39085), Logan (39091), Madison (39097), Montgomery (39113), Pickaway (39129), Putnam (39137), Warren (39165), Wyandot (39175)
OK Cherokee (40021), Mayes (40097)*, Ottawa (40115)*
PA Armstrong (42005), Bedford (42009), Bradford (42015), Clarion (42031), Columbia (42037), Crawford (42039), Cumberland (42041), Dauphin (42043), Erie (42049), Forest (42053), Huntingdon (42061), Indiana (42063), Juniata (42067), Lancaster (42071), Lawrence (42073)*, Lebanon (42075), McKean (42083), Mercer (42085), Mifflin (42087)*, Montour (42093), Northumberland (42097), Perry (42099), Snyder (42109), Susquehanna (42115), Tioga (42117), Union (42119), Venango (42121), Warren (42123), Wyoming (42131), York (42133)
SD Brookings (46011), Lincoln (46083)
VA Grayson (51077), Lee (51105)*, Russell (51167), Scott (51169), Smyth (51173)*, Tazewell (51185)*, Washington (51191), Wise (51195)*
VT Franklin (50011)
WI Ashland (55003), Barron (55005), Bayfield (55007), Buffalo (55011), Burnett (55013), Chippewa (55017), Clark (55019), Columbia (55021), Crawford (55023), Dane (55025), Dodge (55027), Douglas (55031), Dunn (55033), Eau Claire (55035), Florence (55037), Grant (55043), Green (55045)*, Iowa (55049), Iron (55051), Jackson (55053), Kenosha (55059), La Crosse (55063), Lafayette (55065), Langlade (55067), Lincoln (55069), Manitowoc (55071), Marathon (55073), Marinette (55075), Marquette (55077), Menominee (55078), Monroe (55081), Oneida (55085), Outagamie (55087), Pepin (55091), Pierce (55093), Polk (55095), Portage (55097), Price (55099), Racine (55101), Richland (55103), Rock (55105), Rusk (55107), Sauk (55111), Sawyer (55113), Shawano (55115), Sheboygan (55117), St. Croix (55109), Taylor (55119), Trempealeau (55121), Vilas (55125), Walworth (55127), Washburn (55129), Washington (55131), Waukesha (55133), Waupaca (55135)
WV Monroe (54063), Pocahontas (54075), Webster (54101)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Upper Susquehanna (02050101)+, Owego-Wappasening (02050103)+, Chemung (02050105)+, Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock (02050106)+, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107)+, Pine (02050205)+, Lower Susquehanna-Penns (02050301)+, Raystown (02050303)+, Lower Juniata (02050304)+, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+
04 Manitowoc-Sheboygan (04030101)+, Brule (04030106)+, Menominee (04030108)+, Cedar-Ford (04030109)+, Upper Fox (04030201)+, Wolf (04030202)+, Milwaukee (04040003)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, Black-Macatawa (04050002)+*, Kalamazoo (04050003)+, Upper Grand (04050004)+, Maple (04050005)+, Lower Grand (04050006)+, Thornapple (04050007)+, Muskegon (04060102)+, Brevoort-Millecoquins (04060107)+*, Tittabawassee (04080201)+, Pine (04080202)+, Shiawassee (04080203)+, Cass (04080205)+, Saginaw (04080206)+*, St. Clair (04090001)+, Lake St. Clair (04090002)+*, Clinton (04090003)+, Detroit (04090004)+*, Huron (04090005)+, Ottawa-Stony (04100001)+*, Raisin (04100002)+, St. Joseph (04100003)+, Tiffin (04100006)+, Auglaize (04100007)+, Blanchard (04100008)+, Sandusky (04100011)+, Grand (04110004)+, Chautauqua-Conneaut (04120101)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Conewango (05010002)+, Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+, French (05010004)+, Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006)+, Shenango (05030102)+, Tuscarawas (05040001)+, Walhonding (05040003)+, Muskingum (05040004)+, Upper New (05050001)+, Middle New (05050002)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Elk (05050007)+, Upper Scioto (05060001)+, Upper Great Miami (05080001)+, Lower Great Miami (05080002)+, Little Sandy (05090104)+, Little Miami (05090202)+, Licking (05100101)+, South Fork Licking (05100102)+, North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+, Upper Kentucky (05100204)+, Lower Kentucky (05100205)+, Upper Green (05110001)+, Barren (05110002)+*, Rough (05110004)+, Rockcastle (05130102)+, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+*, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+*, Red (05130206)+, Salt (05140102)+*, Rolling Fork (05140103)+*
06 North Fork Holston (06010101)+*, South Fork Holston (06010102)+, Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Powell (06010206)+*, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+*, Wheeler Lake (06030002)+*, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+*, Bear (06030006)+*
07 South Fork Crow (07010205)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Upper Minnesota (07020001)+, Pomme De Terre (07020002)+, Hawk-Yellow Medicine (07020004)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Middle Minnesota (07020007)+, Cottonwood (07020008)+, Blue Earth (07020009)+, Watonwan (07020010)+, Le Sueur (07020011)+, Lower Minnesota (07020012)+, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Namekagon (07030002)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Snake (07030004)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Rush-Vermillion (07040001)+, Cannon (07040002)+, Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003)+, Zumbro (07040004)+, Trempealeau (07040005)+*, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)+, Black (07040007)+, Root (07040008)+, Upper Chippewa (07050001)+, Flambeau (07050002)+, South Fork Flambeau (07050003)+, Jump (07050004)+, Lower Chippewa (07050005)+, Eau Claire (07050006)+, Red Cedar (07050007)+, Upper Iowa (07060002)+, Upper Wisconsin (07070001)+, Lake Dubay (07070002)+, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+, Upper Wapsipinicon (07080102)+, Upper Cedar (07080201)+, Upper Iowa (07080207)+, Upper Rock (07090001)+, Crawfish (07090002)+, Pecatonica (07090003)+, Sugar (07090004)+*, Middle Des Moines (07100004)+, Upper Fox (07120006)+, Meramec (07140102)+, Bourbeuse (07140103)+, Big (07140104)+, Whitewater (07140107)+
08 Upper St. Francis (08020202)+, Little River Ditches (08020204)+, Ouachita Headwaters (08040101)+, Upper Ouachita (08040102)+, Little Missouri (08040103)+, Upper Saline (08040203)+, Lower Saline (08040204)+
10 Upper Big Sioux (10170202)+, Lower Big Sioux (10170203)+, Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107)+, Upper Gasconade (10290201)+, Big Piney (10290202)+, Lower Gasconade (10290203)+
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+, James (11010002)+, Buffalo (11010005)+, Upper Black (11010007)+, Current (11010008)+, Lower Black (11010009)+, Spring (11010010)+, Strawberry (11010012)+, Little Red (11010014)+, Spring (11070207)+, Elk (11070208)+*, Lower Neosho (11070209)+*, Illinois (11110103)+, Frog-Mulberry (11110201)+, Dardanelle Reservoir (11110202)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A freshwater mussel with fragile, inflated, and quadrate shaped shell.
General Description: This is a thin shelled bivalve of triangular to quadrate shape. The shell is inflated with a sharp posterior ridge. Shell color is yellowish-brown with numerous broad green rays speckled with dark green dots. Sexual dimorphism in the shells of males and females are rarely distinguishable. Lateral teeth are absent but may appear as thick swellings. Pseudocardinal teeth are thin and elongate with one in the right valve and usually two in the left valve. Beak sculpture is heavy with three to four thick bars which may appear double looped. The posterior ridge is sharp with posterior slope appearing truncated. The posterior slope is somewhat ribbed and may appear lighter in color. The nacre is bluish white and may have a wash of salmon. The foot is bright orange.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Ortman (1919) describes a subspecies (A. MARGINATA SUSQUEHANNAE Ortman 1913) from the Susquehanna River basin in Pennsylvania. This Atlantic slope form has identical soft parts and glochidia but the truncation of the posterior end is not as pronounced. The shell is somewhat smaller and the epidermis is brighter.
Reproduction Comments: As with most unionid bivalves, this mussel requires a fish host. Howard and Anson (1922) list white sucker (Catastomus commersoni), northern hog sucker (Hypentelium nigricans), shorthead redhorse (Moxostoma nacrolepidotum), rockbass (Ambloplites rupestris), and warmouth (Lepomis gulosus) as fish hosts. Breeding season is bradytictic (Utterback, 1915) meaning the mussel is long term breeder, retaining developing glochidial larvae in gills throughout the year. It only uses the outer gills as marsupia and does not form conglutinates though embryos are held in mucous masses (Oesch, 1984).

Though these mussels are capable of limited movement, dispersal into new areas is primarily accomplished by the fish host movement.

Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Although it occurs in large to medium sized streams, it is more typical of smaller streams (Buchanan, 1980; Goodrich and Van Der Schalie, 1944; Oesch, 1984; Parmalee, 1967; Wilson and Clark, 1914). Ortman (1919) described it as a riffle species that is found in swift current in firmly packed fine to course gravel. Parmalee (1967) reported the preferred habitat to be small streams with good current and sand or gravel bottoms at depths of several inches to two feet. Buchanan (1980) found it to be common in gravel and cobble substrate in two to 18 inches of water, Neel and Allen (1964) found it to be more abundant in the mainstream Cumberland River than in small streams. Parmalee and Bogan (1998) state that it reaches its greatest abundance in small, shallow rivers with a moderately fast current in a mixture of fine gravel and sand.
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Food Comments: Besides reproduction, gills are also used for both respiration and feeding. It is believed that food consists of suspended organic material such as detritus, bacteria and algae.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This mussel is listed as federal species of concern (Category II). Most states describe it as wide ranging but not abundant at any site. As such, it will be difficult to arrange site protection. As with all unionid bivalves, maintaining water quality, flow, and ensuring that the host fish species are present is essential. Several common fish species are known as hosts therefore water quality and maintaining adequate habitat would be of primary importance. The best site in Kentucky was recently lost to habitat destruction (R. Cicerello, pers. comm.).
Species Impacts: No impacts on other species or the environment are known. The mussel may have potential for filtering pollutants out of the water column and binding them within their tissue or excreting them into pseudo-feces. Either may make pollutants available for bioaccumilation into other species from predation of the mussel or consumption of the feces.
Restoration Potential: As with most unionids, many areas of historical element occurrences cannot be restored because of river modification. Other former habitats can probably be recovered if water quality is sufficiently upgraded and mussels are reintroduced provided suitable fish hosts are also present.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Adequate water quality and habitat must be available, preferably a shallow riffle with stable gravel substrate. Fish hosts should be present. As this is a thin shelled species, stream access by livestock and humans should be limited due to the crushing potential. Adequate buffer zones along streams should be developed to help retard agricultural runoff.
Management Requirements: The first need is to determine the actual status. Due to the lack of tracking information, only half (nine) of the states contained in the range have a status ranking for this species. Known populations should have their reproductive potential investigated (fish hosts available, presence of several age classes, viable glochidia, etc.) to see if these occurrences are just single individuals.
Monitoring Requirements: Stansbery et al.(1986) have shown that mussels may be removed from the substrate, measured or marked, and returned without harm to the animal. However, due to its thin shell this mussel should be very carefully replaced into the substrate without disturbing the periostracum by marking. Forcing the shell into the substrate could harm the animal due to the lack of teeth to lock the valves together. Marking the periostracum makes the animal's shell susceptible to erosion due to acidity in the water.

Known populations should be monitored at least annually to determine their general health, and to gather information on the demography and population size, and to determine if the population is reproducing. Fish hosts presence in the mussels' habitat should be determined. Efforts should also be made to locate new populations. In general, land use practices affecting the rivers and streams should also be monitored and any negative effects should be modified to minimize impacts.

Management Research Needs: Existing populations should be sampled to determine their age structure and reproductive potential.
Biological Research Needs: Existing populations should be sampled to determine their age structure and reproductive potential as well as life history and ecological studies.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Freshwater Mussels

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached and/or nacre still glossy and iridescent without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Weathered shells constitute a historic occurrence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Mapping Guidance: Based on the separation distances outlined herein, for freshwater mussels in STANDING WATER (or backwater areas of flowing water such as oxbows and sloughs), all standing water bodies with either (1) greater than 2 km linear distance of unsuitable habitat between (i.e. lotic connections), or (2) more than 10 km of apparently unoccupied though suitable habitat (including lentic shoreline, linear distance across water bodies, and lentic water bodies with proper lotic connections), are considered separate element occurrences. Only the largest standing water bodies (with 20 km linear shoreline or greater) may have greater than one element occurrence within each. Multiple collection or observation locations in one lake, for example, would only constitute multiple occurrences in the largest lakes, and only then if there was some likelihood that unsurveyed areas between collections did not contain the element.

For freshwater mussels in FLOWING WATER conditions, occurrences are separated by a distance of more than 2 stream km of unsuitable habitat, or a distance of more than 10 stream km of apparently unoccupied though suitable habitat. Standing water between occurrences is considered suitable habitat when calculating separation distance for flowing water mussel species unless dispersal barriers (see Separation Barriers) are in place.

Several mussel species in North America occur in both standing and flowing water (see Specs Notes). Calculation of separation distance and determination of separation barriers for these taxa should take into account the environment in which the element was collected. Juvenile mussels do not follow this pattern and juveniles are typically missed by most standard sampling methods (Hastie and Cosgrove, 2002; Neves and Widlak, 1987), therefore juvenile movement is not considered when calculating separation distance.

Separation Barriers: Separation barriers within standing water bodies are based solely on separation distance (see Separation Distance-suitable, below). Separation barriers between standing water bodies and within flowing water systems include lack of lotic connections, natural barriers such as upland habitat, absence of appropriate species specific fish hosts, water depth greater than 10 meters (Cvancara, 1972; Moyle and Bacon, 1969) or anthropogenic barriers to water flow such as dams or other impoundments and high waterfalls.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: None
Separation Justification: Adult freshwater mussels are largely sedentary spending their entire lives very near to the place where they first successfully settled (Coker et al., 1921; Watters, 1992). Strayer (1999) demonstrated in field trials that mussels in streams occur chiefly in flow refuges, or relatively stable areas that displayed little movement of particles during flood events. Flow refuges conceivably allow relatively immobile mussels to remain in the same general location throughout their entire lives. Movement occurs with the impetus of some stimulus (nearby water disturbance, physical removal from the water such as during collection, exposure conditions during low water, seasonal temperature change or associated diurnal cycles) and during spawning. Movement is confined to either vertical movement burrowing deeper into sediments though rarely completely beneath the surface, or horizontal movement in a distinct path often away from the area of stimulus. Vertical movement is generally seasonal with rapid descent into the sediment in autumn and gradual reappearance at the surface during spring (Amyot and Downing, 1991; 1997). Horizontal movement is generally on the order of a few meters at most and is associated with day length and during times of spawning (Amyot and Downing, 1997). Such locomotion plays little, if any, part in the distribution of freshwater mussels as these limited movements are not dispersal mechanisms. Dispersal patterns are largely speculative but have been attributed to stream size and surface geology (Strayer, 1983; Strayer and Ralley, 1993; van der Schalie, 1938), utilization of flow refuges during flood stages (Strayer, 1999), and patterns of host fish distribution during spawning periods (Haag and Warren, 1998; Watters, 1992). Lee and DeAngelis (1997) modeled the dispersal of freshwater into unoccupied habitats as a traveling wave front with a velocity ranging from 0.87 to 2.47 km/year (depending on mussel life span) with increase in glochidial attachment rate to fish having no effect on wave velocity.

Nearly all mussels require a host or hosts during the parasitic larval portion of their life cycle. Hosts are usually fish, but a few exceptional species utilize amphibians as hosts (Van Snik Gray et al., 2002; Howard, 1915) or may metamorphose without a host (Allen, 1924; Barfield et al., 1998; Lefevre and Curtis, 1911; 1912). Haag and Warren (1998) found that densities of host generalist mussels (using a variety of hosts from many different families) and displaying host specialists (using a small number of hosts usually in the same family but mussel females have behavioral modifications to attract hosts to the gravid female) were independent of the densities of their hosts. Densities of non-displaying host specialist mussels (using a small number of hosts usually in the same family but without host-attracting behavior) were correlated positively with densities of their hosts. Upstream dispersal of host fish for non-displaying host specialist mussels could, theoretically, transport mussel larvae (glochidia) over long distances through unsuitable habitat, but it is unlikely that this occurs very often. D. Strayer (personal communication) suggested a distance of at least 10 km, but a greater distance between occurrences may be necessary to constitute genetic separation of populations. As such, separation distance is based on a set, though arbitrary, distance between two known points of occurrence.

Date: 18Oct2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Notes: Contact Jay Cordeiro (jay_cordeiro@natureserve.org) for a complete list of freshwater mussel taxa sorted by flow regime.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 23Jan2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2009); Clayton, J. (1996)
Management Information Edition Date: 06Aug1996
Management Information Edition Author: Clayton, Janet L.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Apr2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J. (2007); CLAYTON, J. L. (1996)

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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References for Watershed Distribution Map
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