Epioblasma propinqua - (I. Lea, 1857)
Tennessee Riffleshell
Other English Common Names: Nearby Pearlymussel
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Epioblasma propinqua (I. Lea, 1857) (TSN 80333)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.117051
Element Code: IMBIV16150
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 propinqua
Taxonomic Comments: This species was historically placed in the genera Dysnomia and Plagiola (Johnson, 1978).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GX
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Apr2009
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: GX - Presumed Extinct
Reasons: This species is globally extinct. It was found historically in the lower Clinch and Holston Rivers and in the Tennessee River downstream from Knoxville to Muscle Shoals, northwestern Alabama; and was known from the Cumberland River at Nashville, Tennessee, the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana, and from the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Ohio. In Alabama it historically occurred throughout the Tennessee River in Alabama, but has not been reported since the river was impounded. In Tennessee, it was formerly collected in the lower Clinch River and lower Holston River from Knoxville to the Tennessee/Alabama border. It was also known historically from the Cumberland River only at Nashville and probably occurred throughout the mainstem of the Cumberland River. In Kentucky, it formerly occurred in the Ohio River. In Illinois, it occurred in the Middle Wabash-Busseron, Middle Wabash-Little Vermillion, Little Wabash, and Lower Wabash drainages. In Ohio, it was reported from Cincinnati in the Ohio River. It was also known from the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana.
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), Illinois (SX), Indiana (SX), Kentucky (SX), Ohio (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: This species is globally extinct. It was found historically in the lower Clinch and Holston Rivers and in the Tennessee River downstream from Knoxville to Muscle Shoals, northwestern Alabama; and was known from the Cumberland River at Nashville, Tennessee, the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana, and from the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Ohio (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Alabama it historically occurred throughout the Tennessee River in Alabama, but has not been reported since the river was impounded (Mirarchi, 2004). In Tennessee, it was formerly collected in the lower Clinch River and lower Holston River from Knoxville to the Tennessee/Alabama border. It was also known historically from the Cumberland River only at Nashville and probably occurred throughout the mainstem of the Cumberland River (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Kentucky, it formerly occurred in the Ohio River (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003). In Illinois, it occurred in the Middle Wabash-Busseron, Middle Wabash-Little Vermillion, Little Wabash, and Lower Wabash drainages (Cummings et al., 1988; 1991). In Ohio, it was reported from Cincinnati in the Ohio River (Johnson, 1978). It was also known from the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana (Johnson, 1978).

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

Number of Occurrences: 0 (zero)
Number of Occurrences Comments: It historically occurred in the Tennessee River across northern Alabama and disappeared soon after impuondment of the Tennessee River with the most recent material dated 1901 (Williams et al., 2008).

Population Size: Zero, no individuals known extant

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

Overall Threat Impact Comments: This species became extinct due to habitat loss and degradation.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: It historically occurred in the Tennessee River across northern Alabama and disappeared soon after impuondment of the Tennessee River with the most recent material dated 1901 (Williams et al., 2008). Morrison (1942) suggested the species may have begun its decline prehistorically, based on diminishing numbers in archaeological middens over time.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (Zero (no occurrences believed extant)) This species is globally extinct. It was found historically in the lower Clinch and Holston Rivers and in the Tennessee River downstream from Knoxville to Muscle Shoals, northwestern Alabama; and was known from the Cumberland River at Nashville, Tennessee, the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana, and from the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Ohio (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Alabama it historically occurred throughout the Tennessee River in Alabama, but has not been reported since the river was impounded (Mirarchi, 2004). In Tennessee, it was formerly collected in the lower Clinch River and lower Holston River from Knoxville to the Tennessee/Alabama border. It was also known historically from the Cumberland River only at Nashville and probably occurred throughout the mainstem of the Cumberland River (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Kentucky, it formerly occurred in the Ohio River (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003). In Illinois, it occurred in the Middle Wabash-Busseron, Middle Wabash-Little Vermillion, Little Wabash, and Lower Wabash drainages (Cummings et al., 1988; 1991). In Ohio, it was reported from Cincinnati in the Ohio River (Johnson, 1978). It was also known from the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana (Johnson, 1978).

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, ILextirpated, INextirpated, KYextirpated, OHextirpated, TNextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Lauderdale (01077)*
IN Fountain (18045)*, Gibson (18051)*, Greene (18055)*, Knox (18083)*, Lawrence (18093)*, Morgan (18109)*, Owen (18119)*, Parke (18121)*, Posey (18129)*, Sullivan (18153)*, Vermillion (18165)*, Vigo (18167)*, Warren (18171)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)*, Lower Green (05110005)*, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+*, Vermilion (05120109)+*, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+*, Lower Wabash (05120113)+*, Little Wabash (05120114)*, Upper White (05120201)+*, Lower White (05120202)+*, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+*, Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake (05130201)*, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)*, Red (05130206)*, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)*, Blue-Sinking (05140104)*, Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon (05140201)*, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)*, Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)*, Lower Ohio (05140206)*
06 Holston (06010104)*, Lower French Broad (06010107)*, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)*, Lower Clinch (06010207)*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)*, Guntersville Lake (06030001)*, Wheeler Lake (06030002)*, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+*, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
Help
Reproduction Comments: The glochidial host of this species is not known.
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 formerly inhabited permanent rivers and streams.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
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
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Apr2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 06Dec2006
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
Help
  • Baker, F.C. 1906. A catalogue of the mollusca of Illinois. Bull. Ill. State Lab. Nat. Hist. 7:53-136.

  • Cummings, K.S. 1991. The aquatic mollusca of Illinois. Ill. Nat. Hist. Surv. Bull. 34:428-438.

  • Cummings, K.S. and C.A. Mayer. 1997. Distributional checklist and status of Illinois freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Unionacea). Pages 129-145 in: K.S. Cummings, A.C. Buchanan, C.A. Mayer, and T.J. Naimo (eds.) Conservation and management of freshwater mussels II: initiatives for the future. Proceedings of a UMRCC Symposium, October 1995, St. Louis, Missouri. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.

  • Cummings, K.S., C.A. Mayer, and L.M. Page. 1988c. Survey of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Unionidae) of the Wabash River drainage, phase II: upper and middle Wabash River. Illinois Natural History Survey, Section of Faunistic Survey and Insect Identification, Technical Report 1988(8):1-79.

  • Frierson, L.S. 1927. A Classified and Annotated Checklist of the North American Naiades. Baylor University Press: Waco, Texas. 111 pp.

  • Herkert, Jim. 1998. Proposed additions, deletions, and changes to the Illinois List of Threatened and Endangered Animals. 101st ESPB Meeting, August 21, 1998. 16pp.

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

  • 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.

  • Morrison, J.P.E. 1942. Preliminary report on mollusks found in the shell mounds of the Pickwidk Landing basin in the Tennessee River valley. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin, 129: 339-392.

  • 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.

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

  • Simpson, C.T. 1900. Synopsis of the naiades, or pearly freshwater mussels. Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. 22(1205):501-1044.

  • Simpson, C.T. 1914. A descriptive catalogue of the naides or pearly fresh-water mussels, Part I Unionidae, Trancillii. Bryant Walker, Detroit, MI. 1540pp.

  • 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.

  • Turgeon, D.D., et al. 1988. A list of common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. Amer. Fish. Soc. Special Publ. 16. viii + 277pp. + 12 plates.

  • 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.

  • Cummings, K.S., C.A. Mayer, and L.M. Page. 1991. Survey of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Unionidae) of the Wabash River drainage. Phase III: White River and selected tributaries. Illinois Natural History Survey, Center for Biodiversity, Technical Report, 1991(3): 47 pp + appendices.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., J.T. Garner, M.F. Mettee, and P.E. O'Neil. 2004b. Alabama wildlife. Volume 2. Imperiled aquatic mollusks and fishes. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. xii + 255 pp.

  • 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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