Utterbackiana hartfieldorum - (Williams, Bogan and Garner, 2009)
Cypress Floater
Synonym(s): Anodonta hartfieldorum Williams, Bogan, and Garner, 2009
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.827975
Element Code: IMBIV04050
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Utterbackiana
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Williams, J.D., A.E. Bogan, and J.T. Garner. 2009a. A new species of freshwater mussel, Anodonta hartfieldorum (Bivalvia: Unionidae), from the Gulf Coastal Plain drainages of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, USA. The Nautilus 123(5): 25-33.
Concept Reference Code: A09WIL04EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Anodonta hartfieldorum
Taxonomic Comments: Placed in Utterbackiana by Williams et al. (2017) because it appears closely related to U. suborbiculata and was formerly associated with that species.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Jan2014
Global Status Last Changed: 26May2009
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: The fact that this species was not recognized as distinct until 2009 has precluded its inclusion in conservation status reviews. However, it does not appear to be imminently imperiled. It can be locally abundant but may have declined in some floodplain lakes and sloughs that have been negatively impacted. The relatively expansive range extends from the Escambia River drainage in Florida and Alabama west to the Pearl River drainage in Louisiana and Mississippi. Its status appears to be relatively secure at this time.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (06Nov2009)

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), Florida (S1), Louisiana (SNR), Mississippi (S3S4)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The species occurs from the Escambia/Conecuh River drainage in western Florida and southern Alabama west to the Pearl River drainage in Louisiana and Mississippi (Williams et al., 2009). Within the Escambia/Conecuh drainage, the range extends in the Escambia River from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Florida, upstream (through Escambia County, Alabama) to Gantt Lake (Reservoir) on the Conecuh River, Covington County, Alabama (note: Johnson's [1969] report of Anodonta suborbiculata from Gantt Lake, [MCZ 267518] was based on A. hartfieldorum; also, Heard [1979] reported and illustrated A. suborbiculata from an unstated locality in the Escambia River drainage, but this may also have been based on A. hartfieldorum, as the two species occur synoptically in Gantt and Point A reservoirs, Conecuh River, Alabama). In the Mobile Basin, A. hartfieldorum is known from the Tombigbee River drainage in Lowndes Co., Mississippi, and a single site on the Tensaw River, Baldwin Co., Alabama (Williams et al., 2009). Further west it has been recorded from the lower reaches of the Pascagoula River drainage in George and Jackson counties, Mississippi. The species has been reported from the Pearl River in Marion County, Mississippi (Vidrine, 1993; Jones et al., 2005) and St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana (where the Pearl River forms a common border between the two states; Williams et al., 2008; 2009).

Area of Occupancy: 101-10,000 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Linear occupancy is 200-5000 km.

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Occurrences are known from the Escambia/Conecuh River system of Panhandle Florida and adjacent Alabama; the Mobile Basin (the Tombigbee River drainage in Lowndes Co., Mississippi, and a single site on the Tensaw River, Baldwin Co., Alabama; Williams et al., 2009); and the lower reaches of the Pascagoula River drainage in George and Jackson counties, Mississippi. The species also has been reported from the Pearl River in Marion County, Mississippi (Vidrine, 1993; Jones et al., 2005) and St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, along the Mississippi-Louisiana border (Williams et al., 2008; 2009).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few to some (4-40)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Factors that potentially may threaten this species include pollution (urban as well as agricultural runoff), habitat degradation, habitat loss from construction of impoundments, and competition from introduction of exotic species (chiefly the Asiatic Clam, Corbicula fluminea; the zebra Mussel, Dreissena polymorpha; may be a future threat).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Short-term rend is poorly known because the species was described relatively recently, and the backwater habitats where it lives are often ignored during mussel surveys (Williams et al., 2008; 2009). It can be locally abundant, although it may have declined in some floodplain lakes and sloughs that have been negatively impacted.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to increase of <25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Long-term trend is poorly known because the species was described relatively recently, and the backwater habitats where it lives are often ignored during mussel surveys (Williams et al., 2008; 2009). It can be locally abundant, although it may have declined in some floodplain lakes and sloughs that have been negatively impacted.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Freshwater mussels are inherently vulnerable to threats from siltation, pollution, eutrophication, channelization, impoundment, collection, drought and water withdrawal, competiton from invasive non-native mussels, and changes to larval host fish populations.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: A systematic survey of appropriate habitat throughout the range is necessary to refine knowledge of the species' distribution and identify threats and conservation opportunities.

Protection Needs: Maintain high water and benthic habitat (substrate) qualities, as well as adequate flow regimes, throughout all occupied river systems. This may be partially accomplished via establishment of buffers and streamside management zones for all agricultural, silvicultural, mining, and developmental activities; protection of floodplain forests and adjoining upland habitat is paramount. Best management practices to follow include employing forestry practices that cause minimal soil erosion; preventing access of livestock to natural surface waters and drains; situating roads at least 0.25 mi. (0.4 km) from heads of all tributaries, even more on steep slopes; using silt fencing and vegetation to control runoff and siltation at all stream crossings, especially during construction and maintenance; using and maintaining sewer systems rather than septic tanks and stream-dumping for management of wastewater; and avoiding use of agricultural pesticides on porous soils near streams. Prevent damming, dredging, and pollution throughout drainages, but especially near recorded sites. Remove existing dams, but with great care to limit downstream sedimentation. Limit withdrawal of surface and subterranean waters as necessary to maintain normal stream flows, especially during drought. Prevent or limit establishment of invasive species (including zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha) to the extent possible. Where appropriate, protect populations through acquisitions and easements over streamside lands by working with government agencies and conservation organizations.

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) The species occurs from the Escambia/Conecuh River drainage in western Florida and southern Alabama west to the Pearl River drainage in Louisiana and Mississippi (Williams et al., 2009). Within the Escambia/Conecuh drainage, the range extends in the Escambia River from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Florida, upstream (through Escambia County, Alabama) to Gantt Lake (Reservoir) on the Conecuh River, Covington County, Alabama (note: Johnson's [1969] report of Anodonta suborbiculata from Gantt Lake, [MCZ 267518] was based on A. hartfieldorum; also, Heard [1979] reported and illustrated A. suborbiculata from an unstated locality in the Escambia River drainage, but this may also have been based on A. hartfieldorum, as the two species occur synoptically in Gantt and Point A reservoirs, Conecuh River, Alabama). In the Mobile Basin, A. hartfieldorum is known from the Tombigbee River drainage in Lowndes Co., Mississippi, and a single site on the Tensaw River, Baldwin Co., Alabama (Williams et al., 2009). Further west it has been recorded from the lower reaches of the Pascagoula River drainage in George and Jackson counties, Mississippi. The species has been reported from the Pearl River in Marion County, Mississippi (Vidrine, 1993; Jones et al., 2005) and St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana (where the Pearl River forms a common border between the two states; Williams et al., 2008; 2009).

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: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, FL, LA, MS

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Baldwin (01003), Covington (01039), Escambia (01053)
FL Escambia (12033), Santa Rosa (12113)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Upper Conecuh (03140301)+, Lower Conecuh (03140304)+, Escambia (03140305)+, Mobile - Tensaw (03160204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Diagnostic Characteristics: From Williams et al. (2009):
It is distinguished from other unionid species by a combination of the following characteristics: thin, compressed to inflated shell, elliptical to oval outline, ventral margin rounded; angle between dorsal margin and posterior margin usually 140 degrees to 150 degrees; hinge teeth absent; periostracum smooth, tawny to olive or brown, typically with very thin green rays; umbo only slightly elevated above hinge line; umbo sculpture in the form of parallel bars in adults; inner lamellae of inner gills connected to visceral mass only anteriorly; supra-anal aperture small, separated from excurrent aperture by wide mantle bridge (may be longer than either of the two apertures); outer gills marsupial; marsupium occupying entire gill, well padded when gravid; secondary water tubes present in gravid marsupia; glochidium with styliform hooks.

From Williams et al. (2009):
Anodonta hartfieldorum shells resemble those of A. suborbiculata but are less round and usually more inflated, with a more inflated umbo that is elevated slightly above the hinge line. It also may resemble Pyganodon grandis, but that species has a much more inflated umbo that is considerably elevated above the hinge line. Anodonta hartfieldorum may vaguely resemble Utterbackia imbecillis and Utterbackia peggyae, but those species are more elongate and their umbos are not elevated above the hinge line. Anodonta hartfieldorum is similar in shell morphology to A. heardi, but
the two species are allopatric, with A. heardi occurring only in the Apalachicola Basin and eastward in the Ochlockonee River (Gordon and Hoeh, 1995; Brim Box and Williams, 2000). Shell proportions of Anodonta hartfieldorum differ from those of A. suborbiculata and A. heardi. The most notable differences are in the relative proportions of shell height and length, as well as the angle between dorsal margin and posterior margin. Anodonta hartfieldorum shell height, relative to length, is greater than that of A. heardi but less than that of A. suborbiculata. The angle between dorsal margin and posterior margin is about equal in A. hartfieldorum (mean = 146 degrees, N = 68) and A. heardi (mean = 147 degrees, N = 19) but is greater than that of A. suborbiculata (mean = 129 degrees, N = 127).

Reproduction Comments: The species is a long-term brooder, presumably gravid from late summer or autumn to the following spring or summer. Gravid individuals brooding mature glochidia have been observed in late October and early November in the Pascagoula River and Gantt Reservoir, Conecuh River, respectively. Glochidial hosts of this species are unknown (Williams et al., 2008; 2009).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: It occurs in water with little or no current such as oxbow lakes and sloughs and has also colonized Gantt and Point A reservoirs on the Conecuh River and Old Faulkner Lake, a Conecuh River floodplain oxbow in Escambia Co., Alabama (Williams et al., 2008). Substrates in these habitats are typically composed of mud or muddy sand, often with detritus (Williams et al., 2009).
Length: 12 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Field research is needed to elucidate all aspects of the species' life history, including its glochidial host species.
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: 09Jan2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jackson, D. R. (2014); Cordeiro, J. (2009)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 06Nov2009
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J.

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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  • Brim Box, J. and J.D. Williams. 2000. Unionid mollusks of the Apalachicola Basin in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Alabama Museum of Natural History Bulletin, 21: 1-143.

  • Williams, J. D., A. E. Bogan, R. S. Butler, K. S. Cummings, J. T. Garner, J. L. Harris, N. A. Johnson, and G. T. Watters. 2017. A revised list of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionida) of the United States and Canada. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation 20:33-58.

  • Williams, J. D., A. E. Bogan, and J. T. Garner. 2009. A new species of freshwater mussel, Anodonta hartfieldorum (Bivalvia: Unionidae), from the Gulf Coastal Plain drainages of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, USA. Unpublished manuscript, in review April 2009.

  • Williams, J. D., A. E. Bogan, and J. T. Garner. 2009. A new species of freshwater mussel, Anodonta hartfieldorum (Bivalvia: Unionidae), from the Gulf Coastal Plain drainages of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, USA. The Nautilus 123(2):25-33.

  • Williams, J. D., A. E. Bogan, and J. T. Garner. 2009. A new species of freshwater mussel, Anodonta hartfieldorum, (Bivalvia: Unionidae), from the Gulf Coastal Plain drainages of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, USA. The Nautilus 123(2):25-33.

  • Williams, J. D., A. E. Bogan, and J. T. Garner. 2008. Freshwater Mussels of Alabama and the Mobile Basin in Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 908 pp.

  • Williams, J. D., R. S. Butler, G. L. Warren, and N. A. Johnson.  2014.  Freshwater Mussels of Florida.  University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.  498 pp.

  • Williams, J. D., R. S. Butler, G. L. Warren, and N. A. Johnson.  2014a.  Freshwater Mussels of Florida.  University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 498 pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Heard, W.H. 1979. Identification manual of the fresh water clams of Florida. State of Florida, Department of Environmental Regulation, Technical Series, 4(2): 1-82.

  • Johnson, R.I. 1969. Further additions to the unionid fauna of the Gulf drainage of Alabama, Georgia and Florida. The Nautilus, 83(1): 34-35.

  • Jones, R.L., W.T. Slack, and P.D. Hartfield. 2005. The freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of Mississippi. Southeastern Naturalist, 4(1): 77-92.

  • Vidrine, M.F. 1993. The Historical Distributions of Freshwater Mussels in Louisiana. Gail Q. Vidrine Collectibles: Eunice, Louisiana. xii + 225 pp. + 20 plates.

  • Williams, J.D., A.E. Bogan, and J.T. Garner. 2008. Freshwater Mussels of Alabama & the Mobile Basin in Georgia, Mississippi & Tennessee. University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 908 pp.

  • Williams, J.D., A.E. Bogan, and J.T. Garner. 2009a. A new species of freshwater mussel, Anodonta hartfieldorum (Bivalvia: Unionidae), from the Gulf Coastal Plain drainages of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, USA. The Nautilus 123(5): 25-33.

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