Quadrula sparsa - (I. Lea, 1841)
Appalachian Monkeyface
Other English Common Names: Appalachian Monkey-Face Pearly Mussel
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Quadrula sparsa (I. Lea, 1841) (TSN 80082)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.120629
Element Code: IMBIV39150
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
Image 11994

Public Domain

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Quadrula
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ 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: Quadrula sparsa
Taxonomic Comments: Distributional records became confused when Ortmann (1914; 1918) lumped Quadrula sparsa and Quadrula tuberosa under Quadrula intermedia (Bogan and Parmalee, 1983; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Historical records for Q. tuberosa from the Cumberland River are therefore also included with historical records for Q. sparsa (USFWS, 1984) but if these are distinct species, then Q. sparsa was not present in the headwaters of the Cumberland River (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Jan2012
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This species has been reduced to one or two populations in only two rivers that continue to be threatened by alteration of habitat and poor land use practices that increase the transport of silt and pollution. Viability is questionable at the few remaining sites.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (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), Tennessee (S1), Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population (14Jun1976)
Comments on USESA: Endangered throughout its range. The USFWS, in cooperation with the State of Tennessee and Conservation Fisheries, Inc., announced a final rule to reintroduce this species into its historical habitat in the free-flowing reach of the French Broad River below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River (Federal Register, 12 September 2007). The proposed rule for this action was published on June 13, 2006.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast
IUCN Red List Category: CR - Critically endangered
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix I
American Fisheries Society Status: Endangered (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: <100 square km (less than about 40 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Historically, this species was thought to have been widespread in the tributaries of the upper Tennessee and Cumberland river systems (including the Tennessee River, Holston River, Powell River, Clinch River, Cumberland River, Big South Fork Cumberland River, and Caney Fork) (USFWS, 1984). Distributional records became confused when Ortmann (1914; 1918) lumped Quadrula sparsa and Quadrula tuberosa under Quadrula intermedia (Bogan and Parmalee, 1983; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Historical records for Q. tuberosa from the Cumberland River are therefore also included with historical records for Q. sparsa (USFWS, 1984) but if these are distinct species, then Q. sparsa was not present in the headwaters of the Cumberland River and they can be attributed to Q. tuberosa (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Parmalee and Bogan (1998) claim the only confirmed records from Tennessee are from the Holston River, the upper Powell River (Claiborne and Hancock Cos.), and the unimpounded portion of the Clinch River above Norris Dam. Currently, it is restricted to free-flowing reaches of the upper Powell and Clinch Rivers above Norris Reservoir in (Hancock and Claiborne Cos.) Tennessee (USFWS, 1984; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998) and in one section of the Powell and Clinch rivers in Virginia (Neves, 1991; Ahlstedt, 1991) but has nearly disappeared from this latter locality (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Recent archaeological records have shown this species occurrence at Muscle Shoals and Hobbs Island in Madison Co., Alabama, but it is now extirpated from that state (Mirarchi et al., 2004; in appendix 1.2 published separately; Williams et al., 2008), as well as archaeological specimens from the lower Clinch River in Roane Co., Tennessee and Hiwassee River in Bradley Co., Tennessee (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

Area of Occupancy: 1-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: Probably two or three occurrences remain (USFWS, 1984) in the Holston, Clinch, and upper Powell Rivers. The population in the Clinch River (between Cleveland and Craft Mill, Virginia) is of questionable viability due to low numbers and isolated distribution (Neves, 1991; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). The population in the upper Powell River (about a 40-50 mile stretch above Norris Reservoir), Claiborne and Hancock Cos., Tennessee has nearly disappeared and all remaining populations in Tennessee are extirpated (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). It appears since 1989, range in the Powell River has declined by 19.4 linear km and overall the species occurs in portions of a 100 km reach of the river, however age studies indicate little recruitment outside a small 0.8 km linear stretch of the river in recent years (Johnson, 2011).

Population Size: Unknown

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None (zero)
Viability/Integrity Comments: In the 1980s, the Powell River population was believed to be the only reproducing occurrence (USFWS, 1984). All remaining occurrences are of questionable viability at best, and the viability of the Powell River population is now in question (USFWS, 1984; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998; Neves, 1991).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats and causes of decline listed in the recovery plan (USFWS, 1984) include impoundment (for flood control, navigation, hydroelectric power, and recreation), siltation (due to strip mining, coal washing, dredging, farming, logging, and road construction), and pollution (municipal, agricultural, and industrial waste discharges, chemical spills) (USFWS, 1984).

Short-term Trend: Decline of >70%
Short-term Trend Comments: It appears since 1989, range in the Powell River has declined by 19.4 linear km and overall the species occurs in portions of a 100 km reach of the river, however age studies indicate little recruitment outside a small 0.8 km linear stretch of the river in recent years (Johnson, 2011).

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: Only the Powell and Clinch Rivers have extant populations and these have been reduced to questionable viability. All other populations have gone extinct (USFWS, 1984) with the two or three remaining populations of questionable viability, at best (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998; Ahlstedt, 1991). Occurrences in Alabama are based on archaeological material from prehistoric middens along the Tennessee River in Muscle Shoals and Hobbs Island in Madison Co. [note map is incorrect in Williams et al., 2008] (Morrison, 1942).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Due to slow growth and relative immobility, establishment of sustainable, viable populations requires decades of immigration and recruitment, even where suitable habitat exists (Neves, 1993). Mussel recruitment is typically low and sporadic, with population stability and viability maintained by numerous slow-growing cohorts and occasional good year classes (Neves and Widlak, 1987).

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (<100 square km (less than about 40 square miles)) Historically, this species was thought to have been widespread in the tributaries of the upper Tennessee and Cumberland river systems (including the Tennessee River, Holston River, Powell River, Clinch River, Cumberland River, Big South Fork Cumberland River, and Caney Fork) (USFWS, 1984). Distributional records became confused when Ortmann (1914; 1918) lumped Quadrula sparsa and Quadrula tuberosa under Quadrula intermedia (Bogan and Parmalee, 1983; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Historical records for Q. tuberosa from the Cumberland River are therefore also included with historical records for Q. sparsa (USFWS, 1984) but if these are distinct species, then Q. sparsa was not present in the headwaters of the Cumberland River and they can be attributed to Q. tuberosa (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Parmalee and Bogan (1998) claim the only confirmed records from Tennessee are from the Holston River, the upper Powell River (Claiborne and Hancock Cos.), and the unimpounded portion of the Clinch River above Norris Dam. Currently, it is restricted to free-flowing reaches of the upper Powell and Clinch Rivers above Norris Reservoir in (Hancock and Claiborne Cos.) Tennessee (USFWS, 1984; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998) and in one section of the Powell and Clinch rivers in Virginia (Neves, 1991; Ahlstedt, 1991) but has nearly disappeared from this latter locality (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Recent archaeological records have shown this species occurrence at Muscle Shoals and Hobbs Island in Madison Co., Alabama, but it is now extirpated from that state (Mirarchi et al., 2004; in appendix 1.2 published separately; Williams et al., 2008), as well as archaeological specimens from the lower Clinch River in Roane Co., Tennessee and Hiwassee River in Bradley Co., Tennessee (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

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, TN, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KY Cumberland (21057)*
TN Claiborne (47025), Hancock (47067), Monroe (47123)*, Trousdale (47169)*
VA Lee (51105), Scott (51169)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+*, Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake (05130201)+*
06 Holston (06010104)*, Pigeon (06010106)*, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+*, Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Powell (06010206)+, Lower Clinch (06010207)*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)*, Hiwassee (06020002)*, Wheeler Lake (06030002)*
+ 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
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Basic Description: A medium sized (7 cm) freshwater mussel with a yellow-green or brown shell that is marked with strong concentric growth rings, tubercles, and small greenish triangles or chevrons.
Reproduction Comments: The glochidial host is not known.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This species inhabits fast-flowing, headwaters sections of rivers in shallow riffles and runs (USFWS, 1984).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This species was declared federally endangered in the U.S. in 1976 and a recovery plan created (USFWS, 1984).

The USFWS, in cooperation with the State of Tennessee and Conservation Fisheries, Inc., proposes to reintroduce this species into its historical habitat in the free-flowing reach of the French Broad River below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River (USFWS, 2006).

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: 17Jan2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2012); Morrison, M. (1997)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 16Feb2007
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
  • Ahlstedt, S.A. 1991b [1992]. Twentieth century changes in the fresh-water mussel fauna of the Clinch River (Tennessee and Virginia). Walkerana 5(13): 73-122.

  • Bogan, A.E. and P.W. Parmalee. 1983. Tennessee's rare wildlife. Vol. 2: The mollusks. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Conservation Department: Nashville, Tennessee. 123 pp.

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

  • Johnson, M.S. 2011. A quantitative survey of the freshwater mussel fauna in the Powell River of Virginia and Tennessee, and life history study of two endangered species, Quadrula sparsa and Quadrula intermedia. M.S. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institution. 171 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Neves, R.J. 1991. Mollusks. Pages 251-320 in K. Terwilliger (ed.). Virginia's Endangered Species. Proceedings of a Symposium, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia. 672 pp.

  • Neves, R.J. 1993. A state-of-the unionid address. Pages 1-10 in K.S. Cummings, A.C. Buchanan, and L.M. Koch (eds.) Conservation and management of freshwater mussels. Proceedings of a UMRCC symposium, October 1992, St. Louis, Missouri. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.

  • Neves, R.J. and J.C. Widlak. 1987. Habitat ecology of juvenile freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in a headwater stream in Virginia. American Malacological Bulletin, 5: 1-7.

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

  • Stansbery, D. 1976c. Status of endangered fluviatile mollusks in central North America: Quadrula sparsa (Lea, 1841). Ohio State University Research Foundation, Columbus, Ohio. 6 pp.

  • 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.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (S. Ahlsedt). 1984. Recovery plan for the Appalachian monkeyface pearly mussel: Quadrula sparsa (Lea, 1841). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 4, Atlanta, Georgia. 55 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2006. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; establishment of nonessential experimental population status for 15 freshwater mussels, 1 freshwater snail, and 5 fishes in the lower French Broad River and in the lower Holston River, Tennessee; Proposed Rule. Federal Register, 71(113): 34195-34230.

  • 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
  • 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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