Quadrula succissa - (I. Lea, 1852)
Purple Pigtoe
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Fusconaia succissa (I. Lea, 1852) (TSN 80056)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.117674
Element Code: IMBIV17130
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
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: Fusconaia succissa
Taxonomic Comments: Lydeard et al. (2000), in a discussion of molecular phylogeny, indicated this species is not a member of the genus Fusconaia. Recent mitochondrial DNA evidence suggests this species is closely related to, and may possibly require placement in, the genus Quadrula as a member of the pustulosa group (Serb et al., 2003).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Nov2010
Global Status Last Changed: 23Jan2006
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This is an Apalachicola Region endemic that occurs in three river systems and is known from a few dozen occurrences. Populations of this species in the Escambia and Yellow rivers are considered stable and approximately 46 new occurrences were recently found in the Choctawhatchee River drainage in Florida and Alabama. It remains widespread in muc of its historic range although some populations are fragmented.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (23Jan2006)

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 (S3), Florida (SNR)

Other Statuses

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

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This Apalachicolan Region endemic is found in the Choctawhatchee, Yellow, and Escambia river systems in southern Alabama and Florida (Williams et al., 2008). Blalock-Herod et al. (2005) listed 44 historical sites in the Choctawhatchee River drainage of Alabama and Florida (extant in 17) and located 46 new sites in the drainage (stable within the drainage). Gangloff and Hartfield (2009) found it in 5 Pea River sites and 2 Choctawhatchee River sites, Alabama.

Area of Occupancy: 501-12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: In a recent survey of 179 sites, it was located at 10 historical occurrences and 19 new ones in the Escambia system, and 3 historical and 22 new occurrences in the Yellow River system (Williams et al., 2000). In a survey of 50 sites in the Pea River system (Choctawhatchee drainage), it was located at six of nine historical occurrences, as well as 7 new occurrences (Blalock et al., 1998). Blalock-Herod et al. (2005) listed 44 historical sites in the Choctawhatchee River drainage of Alabama and Florida (extant in 17) and located 46 new sites in the drainage (stable within the drainage). In a 2004 survey of 24 sites in the Choctawhatchee, Yellow, and Conecuh-Escambia River drainages in southern Alabama, Pilarczyk et al. (2006) found this species at 13 sites. Gangloff and Hartfield (2009) found it in 5 Pea River sites and 2 Choctawhatchee River sites. Overall in Alabama, it occurs in the Choctawhatchee, Yellow, and Conecuh River drainages adn remains widespread in much of its historic range although some populations are fragmented (Williams et al., 2008).

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Generally, this species is widespread and common where found. Ten specimens/hr. were found at the most viable sitein a recent survey; a total of 226 live specimens were found in the Escambia River drainage, and 799 live animals were located in the Yellow River drainage (Williams et al., 2000). In a 2004 survey of 24 sites in the Choctawhatchee, Yellow, and Conecuh-Escambia River drainages in southern Alabama, Pilarczyk et al. (2006) found this species at 13 sites.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Blalock-Herod et al. (2005) listed 44 historical sites in the Choctawhatchee River drainage of Alabama and Florida (extant in 17) and located 46 new sites in the drainage (stable within the drainage).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Due to accelerated human population growth in the Florida panhandle (e.g., Pensacola, FL), possible threats include water withdrawals, impoundments (e.g., 25 new impoundments have been proposed for the Choctawhatchee River system alone), excess sedimentation, and bank and channel destabilization due to hydrological changes.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Williams et al. (2000) considered populations of this species in the Escambia and Yellow River systems to be stable. Based on a recent survey of the Pea River (Blalock et al. 1998), populations in the Choctawhatchee River system are also probably stable. Blalock-Herod et al. (2005) listed 44 historical sites in the Choctawhatchee River drainage of Alabama and Florida (extant in 17) and located 46 new sites in the drainage (stable within the drainage).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: It remains widespread in muc of its historic range although some populations are fragmented (Williams et al., 2008).

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Probably hardier than most other Apalachicola Region endemics. May be somewhat tolerant of above threats (except impoundments), but susceptible to some common filter feeder impacts.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: No further survey work is needed at this time. The results of a recent survey of the main stem of the Choctawhatchee River are in preparation (Jim Williams, pers. comm.).

Protection Needs: Maintain water and habitat quality.

Distribution
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Global Range: (1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)) This Apalachicolan Region endemic is found in the Choctawhatchee, Yellow, and Escambia river systems in southern Alabama and Florida (Williams et al., 2008). Blalock-Herod et al. (2005) listed 44 historical sites in the Choctawhatchee River drainage of Alabama and Florida (extant in 17) and located 46 new sites in the drainage (stable within the drainage). Gangloff and Hartfield (2009) found it in 5 Pea River sites and 2 Choctawhatchee River sites, Alabama.

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

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Barbour (01005), Butler (01013), Coffee (01031), Covington (01039), Dale (01045), Escambia (01053), Geneva (01061), Henry (01067), Houston (01069)*, Pike (01109)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Yellow (03140103)+, Pensacola Bay (03140105), Upper Choctawhatchee (03140201)+, Pea (03140202)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203), Upper Conecuh (03140301)+, Patsaliga (03140302)+, Sepulga (03140303)+, Lower Conecuh (03140304)+, Escambia (03140305)
+ 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 freshwater mussel.
General Description: See Clench and Turner (1956) and Deyrup and Franz (1994) for full description.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Subcircular in outline, uniform dark perio, thick and well-defined pseudocardinals and purple nacre.
Reproduction Comments: This species is possibly tachytictic, like Interior basin congeners (e.g., Fusconaia flava and Fusconaia ebena). The glochidial host is not known.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Potentially good considering affinity for soft substrates. Greatest potential during glochidial stage on fish.
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This species is found in mud and sand/mud substrates in medium-sized creeks to rivers (Deyrup and Franz, 1994).
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Parasitic
Food Comments: Filter feeder; presumably fine particulate organic matter and/or zooplankton and/or phytoplankton.
Length: 6 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Determine reproductive biology (e.g., host fish), identify the effects of impoundments on local populations, and the impacts of point and non-point pollution.
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: 10Nov2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2010); Butler, R.S. [1992 edition]; Brim Box, J., and C. (1998)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 11Dec2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J. (2007); BUTLER, R.S. (2000)

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

References
Help
  • Blalock, H.N., J.J. Herod, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Freshwater mussels (Unionacea: Bivalvia) of the Pea River Watershed of Alabama and Florida. Final Report for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville, Florida. 61 pp.

  • Clench, W.J. and R.D. Turner. 1956. Freshwater mollusks of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida from the Escambia to the Suwanee River. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum Biological Sciences, 1(3): 97-239.

  • Deyrup, M. and R. Franz. 1994. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida, Volume IV. Invertebrates. University Press of Florida: Gainesville, Florida. 798 pp.

  • Deyrup, M., and R. Franz. 1994. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida, Volume IV: Invertebrates. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 798 pp.

  • Gangloff, M.M. and P.W. Hartfield. 2009. Seven populations of the southern kidneyshell (Ptychobranchus jonesi) discovered in the choctawhatachee River basin, Alabama. Southeastern Naturalist 8(2):245-254.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • Lydeard, C., R. Minton, and J.D. Williams. 2000. Prodigious polyphyly in imperiled freshwater pearly-mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae): a phylogenetic test of species and generic designations. Pages 145-158 In E.M. Harper, J. D. Taylor, and J. A. Crame (eds.) The Evolutionary Biology of the Bivalvia. Geological Society of London, Special Publications 177.

  • 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.

  • Serb, J.M., J.E. Buhan, and C. Lydeard. 2003. Molecular systematics of the North American freshwater bivalve genus Quadrula (Unionidae: Ambleminae) based on mitochondrial ND1 sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 28: 1-11.

  • 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., H.N. Blalock, A. Benson, and D.N. Shelton. 2000. Distribution of the freshwater mussel fauna (Bivalvia: Margaritiferidae and Unionidae) in the Escambia and Yellow river drainages in southern Alabama and western Florida. Final Report for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville, Florida. 61 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • Blalock-Herod, H.N., J.J. Herod, J.D. Williams, B.N. Wilson, and S.W. McGregor. 2005. A historical and current perspective of the freshwater mussel fauna (Bivalvia: Unionidae) from the Choctawhatchee River drainage in Alabama and Florida. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, 24: 1-26.

  • Pilarczyk, M.M., P.M. Stewart, D.N. Shelton, H.N. Blalock-Herod, and J.D. Williams. 2006. Current and Recent historical freshwater mussel assemblages in the Gulf Coastal Plains. Southeastern Naturalist, 5(2): 205-226.

  • 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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