Epioblasma biemarginata - (I. Lea, 1857)
Angled Riffleshell
Synonym(s): Plagiola biemarginata (I. Lea, 1857)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Epioblasma biemarginata (I. Lea, 1857) (TSN 80302)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.116351
Element Code: IMBIV16020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Epioblasma
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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: Epioblasma biemarginata
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GX
Global Status Last Reviewed: 29May2009
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: GX - Presumed Extinct
Reasons: The habitat of this species has been severely modified or destroyed by damming. A subpopulation sampled in 1967 was subsequently destroyed and the last specimen was seen in 1970. Annual surveys are conducted throughout the whole system. Damming along entire river systems has had an impact on this species which has long been believed to be extinct.
Nation: United States
National Status: NX (25Nov1996)

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 (SX), Kentucky (SX), Tennessee (SX)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: EX - Extinct
American Fisheries Society Status: Possibly Extinct (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: Zero (no occurrences believed extant)
Range Extent Comments: Historically, this species occurred in the Clinch, Holston, Elk, and Sequatchie Rivers in Tennessee and in the Paint Rock River, Jackson Co., and the Flint River, Madison Co., Alabama. It also inhabited the main channel of the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals, Colbert and Lauderdale Cos., Alabama (Ortmann, 1925; Johnson, 1978). It had also been collected in the Cumberland River drainage only from the Big South Fork Cumberland River, Pulaski Co., Kentucky (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998) and Upper Cumberland River below Cumberland Falls (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003). Tennessee historical localities included the Clinch River, Hancock Co.; Holston River, Knox Co.; Sequatchie River, Sequatchie Co.; and the Elk River, Lincoln Co. (Ortmann, 1925; Johnson, 1978). In Alabama, it occurred historically in the Tennessee River downstream to Muscle Shoals (Mirarchi, 2004).

Area of Occupancy: 0 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 0 (zero)
Number of Occurrences Comments: In Alabama, it historically occurred in the Tennessee River across northern Alabama and some of its larger tributaries (Williams et al., 2008). No records from Alabama reaches of the El River exist but historical records from Tennessee suggest it occurred there (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

Population Size: Zero, no individuals known extant

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None (zero)

Overall Threat Impact: Unknown
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The habitat of this species has been severely modified or destroyed by damming. A subpopulation sampled in 1967 was subsequently destroyed. Annual surveys are conducted throughout the whole system. Damming along entire river systems has had an impact on this species which has long been believed to be extinct (Stansberry, 1976).

Short-term Trend: Decline of >70%
Short-term Trend Comments: The habitat of this species has been severely modified or destroyed by damming. A subpopulation sampled in 1967 was subsequently destroyed. Annual surveys are conducted throughout the whole system. Damming along entire river systems has had an impact on this species which has long been believed to be extinct (Stansberry, 1976). A specimen was collected from the Tennessee River near Florence in 1970 (Williams et al., 2008). It was known historically from the upper Elk River, Tennessee (Isom et al., 1973).

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: The habitat of this species has been severely modified or destroyed by damming. A subpopulation sampled in 1967 was subsequently destroyed. Annual surveys are conducted throughout the whole system. Damming along entire river systems has had an impact on this species which has long been believed to be extinct (Stansberry, 1976).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (Zero (no occurrences believed extant)) Historically, this species occurred in the Clinch, Holston, Elk, and Sequatchie Rivers in Tennessee and in the Paint Rock River, Jackson Co., and the Flint River, Madison Co., Alabama. It also inhabited the main channel of the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals, Colbert and Lauderdale Cos., Alabama (Ortmann, 1925; Johnson, 1978). It had also been collected in the Cumberland River drainage only from the Big South Fork Cumberland River, Pulaski Co., Kentucky (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998) and Upper Cumberland River below Cumberland Falls (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003). Tennessee historical localities included the Clinch River, Hancock Co.; Holston River, Knox Co.; Sequatchie River, Sequatchie Co.; and the Elk River, Lincoln Co. (Ortmann, 1925; Johnson, 1978). In Alabama, it occurred historically in the Tennessee River downstream to Muscle Shoals (Mirarchi, 2004).

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 ALextirpated, KYextirpated, TNextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Jackson (01071)*, Lauderdale (01077)*, Limestone (01083)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Cumberland (05130101)*, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)*, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)*
06 Holston (06010104)*, Upper Clinch (06010205)*, Sequatchie (06020004)*, Wheeler Lake (06030002)+*, Upper Elk (06030003)*, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+*, Bear (06030006)*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: The glochidial host of this species has never been determined. It was possibly a winter breeder.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, MEDIUM RIVER
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This species occurred in the Cumberland and Tennessee River systems prior to impoundment in shallow, fast moving water in medium to large rivers.

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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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: 28Apr2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 04Dec2006
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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  • Burch, J.B. 1975a. Freshwater unionacean clams (Mollusca: Pelecypoda) of North America. Malacological Publications: Hamburg, Michigan. 204 pp.

  • Howard, A.D. 1915. Some exceptional cases of breeding among the Unionidae. The Nautilus 29:4-11.

  • Isom, B.G., P. Yokley, Jr., and C.H. Gooch. 1973. Mussels of Elk River Basin in Alabama and Tennessee- 1965-1967. American Midland Naturalist 89(2):437-442.

  • Johnson, R.I. 1978. Systematics and zoogeography of Plagiola (= Dysnomia = Epioblasma), an almost extinct genus of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) from middle North America. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 148(6): 239-320.

  • Lefevre, G. and W.T. Curtis. 1912. Studies on the reproduction and artificial propogation of fresh-water mussels. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries 30:102-201.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., et al. 2004a. Alabama Wildlife. Volume One: A Checklist of Vertebrates and Selected Invertebrates: Aquatic Mollusks, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals. University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pp.

  • Moyle, P. and J. Bacon. 1969. Distribution and abundance of molluscs in a fresh water environment. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 35(2/3):82-85.

  • Ortmann, A.E. 1925. The naiad fauna of the Tennessee River system below Walden Gorge. The American Midland Naturalist, 9(7): 321-371.

  • Parmalee, P.W. and A.E. Bogan. 1998. The freshwater mussels of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennesee. 328 pp.

  • Stansbery, D.H. 1976b. Naiad mollusks. Pages 42-52 in H. Boschung (ed.). Endangered and threatened plants and animals of Alabama. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History 2:1-92.

  • Strayer, D. 1983. The effects of surface geology and stream size on freshwater mussel (Bivalvia, Unionidae) distribution in southeastern Michigan, U.S.A. Freshwater Biology 13:253-264.

  • Strayer, D.L. 1999a. Use of flow refuges by unionid mussels in rivers. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18(4):468-476.

  • Strayer, D.L. and J. Ralley. 1993. Microhabitat use by an assemblage of stream-dwelling unionaceans (Bivalvia) including two rare species of Alasmidonta. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 12(3):247-258.

  • 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.

  • Van der Schalie, H. 1938a. The naiad fauna of the Huron River in southeastern Michigan. Miscellaneous Publication of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 40:7-78.

  • Watters, G.T. 1992a. Unionids, fishes, and the species-area curve. Journal of Biogeography 19:481-490.

  • 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 pages.

  • Williams, J.D., M.L. Warren, Jr., K.S. Cummings, J.L. Harris, and R.J. Neves. 1993b. Conservation status of freshwater mussels of the United States and Canada. Fisheries 18(9): 6-22.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Cicerello, R.R. and G.A. Schuster. 2003. A guide to the freshwater mussels of Kentucky. Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission Scientific and Technical Series 7:1-62.

  • Parmalee, P.W. and A.E. Bogan. 1998. The Freshwater Mussels of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville, Tennessee. 328 pp.

  • 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.

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