Villosa lienosa - (Conrad, 1834)
Little Spectaclecase
Synonym(s): Villosa lienosa lienosa
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Villosa lienosa (Conrad, 1834) (TSN 80208)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.118837
Element Code: IMBIV47070
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Villosa
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 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: Villosa lienosa
Taxonomic Comments: The entire genus is in need of thorough genetic studies to determine taxonomic validation of the many described and undescribed forms.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 21May2009
Global Status Last Changed: 01Mar1995
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This is a widespread species that is secure in at least 75% of its range experiencing some decline in the northern range limits.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (16Jul1998)

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 (S5), Arkansas (S3), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S2), Indiana (S3), Kentucky (S3S4), Louisiana (S5), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (S3), Ohio (S1), Oklahoma (S2), Tennessee (S4), Texas (S1S2), West Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

American Fisheries Society Status: Currently Stable (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species ranges from Texas (Howells et al., 1996) north to the Ohio and Wabash Rivers, and east to southeast Georgia and peninsular Florida (Burch, 1975; Clench and Turner, 1956). Parmalee and Bogan (1998) list the range as in Gulf Coast rivers from the Suwannee River system in Florida west to Texas and Oklahoma, up the Mississippi River to southern Missouri, up to Ohio and lower Wabash Rivers, and in small streams in southern Ohio and West Virginia (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In the Apalachicola Basin (ACF basin = formed by Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers) of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, this species is historically known from 260 records from 102 sites and was considered widespread throughout the ACF system including tributaries of the Apalachicola River as well as the main channel and tributaries of the Apalachicola, Chipola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers (Brim Box and Williams, 2000).

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

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: In Alabama, it is common occurring throughout the entire state south of the Tennessee River drainage (Mirarchi, 2004; Williams et al., 2008). 18 historical (relocated at 6 of 11) sites and 79 new sites are known in the Choctawhatchee River drainage of Alabama and Florida (Blalock-Herod et al., 2005); also Pea River (Gangloff and Hartfield, 2009). It was recently collected from the Black Warrior River (Tuscaloosa and Greene/Hale Cos.) and upper Tombigbee River in Sumter and Greene Cos., Alabama (Williams et al., 1992); also Alabama and Tombigbee drainages (McGregor et al., 1999). In Texas, this species typically occurs from the San Jacinto River drainage into systems to the north and east in east Texas (Howells et al., 1996). During surveys of the Village Creek drainage of Hardin, Tyler, and Polk Cos. in southeast Texas in 2001-2002, this species was found in 12 sites (of 22 surveyed) (Bordelon and Harrel, 2004). In Mississippi, it occurs in all the major drainages except the Coastal (Jones et al., 2005). In Louisiana, it is widespread and often common and is considered to be the second most abundant mussel in headwater creeks in both eastern and western Louisiana (Vidrine, 1993; Brown and Banks, 2001). In Illinois, it is now restricted to the Embarras and Vermilion Rivers where it is sporadic (Cummings and Mayer, 1997). It was recently collected in the Middle Fork North Branch Vermillion River and Jordan Creek in Illinois and Indiana (Szafoni et al., 2000). Indiana distribution: Wabash tributaries (Fisher, 2006), East Fork White (Harmon, 1992), Muscatatuck (Harmon, 1989). In Ohio, it occurs in Salt Ceek, Symmes Creek, Little Miami River, Ohio Brush Creek, Pine Creek, and several other southern Ohio creeks (Watters, 1992; 1995; Hoggarth et al., 2007; Watters et al., 2009). In West Virginia, it is known from the Pocatalico River, Twelvepole Creek, and Greenbrier River (Taylor and Horn, 1983) and Mud River (Guyandotte drainage) (Schmidt and Zeto, 1986). In Tennessee, it is found in direct tributaries to the Mississippi River in western Tennessee including the Wolf, Hatchie, and Obion Rivers as well as the Stones (likely extirpated) and Red Rivers (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In Kentucky, it is sporadic nearly statewide (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003). In the Coosa River basin in Georgia, it is known from the Coosa, Etowah, Oostanaula, and Conasauga River drainages with few live individuals recently (Williams and Hughes, 1998). This species was recorded from the Strong River in Mississippi in 2001 (Darden et al., 2002). It occurs throughout most of Arkansas including the Poteau (1990s) (Vaughn and Spooner, 2004), Cache (Christian et al., 2005), Arkansas, White, St. Francis, Ouachita, and Red Rivers (Anderson, 2006). Johnson and Ahlstedt (2005) located specimens in 2005 in the Luxapallila drainage on the Mississippi/Alabama border. In the ACF basin, it was recently collected from 72 of 323 sites in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and is much the same as it was historically (Brim-Box and Williams, 2000). Golladay et al. (2004) found this species at 20 of 21 sites (1999) and 16 of 21 sites (2001) in tributary streams of the lower Flint River Basin on the Gulf Coastal Plain in southwest Georgia. 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 19 sites, including just over the border in Florida in Eightmile Creek. In Oklahoma, it occurs in the Blue, Kiamichi and Little Rivers; and the Mountain Fork (Spooner and Vaughn, 2007) River (where it is common) (Branson, 1984). It was recently found in the Little River, Oklahoma (Vaughn and Taylor, 1999; Vaughn, 2000).

Population Size: 2500 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Although widespread, uncommon in the Ohio River drainage, including Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio (Cummings and Mayer, 1992). Stansbery (1969) reports that the species is "increasing" within the Cumberland River, Kentucky in his observations compared with those of 1911 and 1947-1949. Note: This report may be bias based on the sampling methods used, increasing the visibility of the species. Furthermore, it is still one of the undercollected species at his 1961 study site. In the ACF basin, it was recently collected from 72 of 323 sites (531 live, 176 shells) in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and is much the same as it was historically (Brim-Box and Williams, 2000). During surveys of the Village Creek drainage of Hardin, Tyler, and Polk Cos. in southeast Texas in 2001-2002, this species was found in 17 sites (of 22 surveyed) (50 spms.) (Bordelon and Harrel, 2004).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown
Viability/Integrity Comments: Pea and Choctawhatchee River populations are strong and healthy (Gangloff and Hartfield, 2009).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Is of no commercial value (Oesch, 1984). Following a recent drought from 1999-2001, this species experienced decline in abundance in the Flint River drainage in Georgia as evidenced by surveys in 2001 and 2002 (Chastain et al., 2005).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: The Stones River population in Tennessee is now extirpated and status in other Tennessee locations is uncertain (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Blalock-Herod et al. (2005) located this species at 79 (58%) new sites in the Choctawhatchee River drainage of Florida and Alabama and consider it stable. In the ACF basin, it was recently collected from 72 of 323 sites in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and is much the same as it was historically (Brim-Box and Williams, 2000).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: "In sandy substrates in slight to moderate current" (Heard, 1979). "Prefers mud, particularly when rich in vegetable detritus" (Clench and Turner, 1956). Typically inhabits small creeks to medium-sized rivers, usually along the banks in slower currents. Characteristic more so of smaller streams than not, and may be the only species present (or with ELLIPTIO sp.) in headwater streams of the western panhandle. In the ACF basin, it is more common in tributary streams than main channels with 55% of specimens collected at sites with primarily muddy (silt, clay) substrates, and 33% at sites with predominantly sand and clay or limestone rock substrates (Brim Box and Williams, 2000).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) This species ranges from Texas (Howells et al., 1996) north to the Ohio and Wabash Rivers, and east to southeast Georgia and peninsular Florida (Burch, 1975; Clench and Turner, 1956). Parmalee and Bogan (1998) list the range as in Gulf Coast rivers from the Suwannee River system in Florida west to Texas and Oklahoma, up the Mississippi River to southern Missouri, up to Ohio and lower Wabash Rivers, and in small streams in southern Ohio and West Virginia (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). In the Apalachicola Basin (ACF basin = formed by Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers) of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, this species is historically known from 260 records from 102 sites and was considered widespread throughout the ACF system including tributaries of the Apalachicola River as well as the main channel and tributaries of the Apalachicola, Chipola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers (Brim Box and Williams, 2000).

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, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, OH, OK, TN, TX, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Barbour (01005), Bibb (01007), Bullock (01011), Coffee (01031), Conecuh (01035), Covington (01039), Dale (01045), Dallas (01047), Fayette (01057), Geneva (01061), Greene (01063), Lamar (01075), Lawrence (01079), Lowndes (01085), Marengo (01091), Marion (01093)*, Monroe (01099), Montgomery (01101), Perry (01105), Pickens (01107), Pike (01109), Shelby (01117), Sumter (01119), Tuscaloosa (01125), Wilcox (01131)
AR Benton (05007), Bradley (05011), Clark (05019), Cleburne (05023), Conway (05029), Crawford (05033), Dallas (05039), Drew (05043), Faulkner (05045), Franklin (05047), Fulton (05049), Garland (05051), Grant (05053), Hot Spring (05059), Howard (05061), Independence (05063), Izard (05065), Johnson (05071), Lawrence (05075), Lee (05077), Little River (05081), Marion (05089), Miller (05091), Mississippi (05093), Montgomery (05097), Nevada (05099), Newton (05101), Ouachita (05103), Perry (05105), Pike (05109), Poinsett (05111), Polk (05113), Pope (05115), Randolph (05121), Saline (05125), Scott (05127), Searcy (05129), Sevier (05133), Sharp (05135), Stone (05137), Van Buren (05141), Washington (05143), Woodruff (05147)
IL Champaign (17019), Clay (17025)*, Coles (17029), Douglas (17041), Edgar (17045), Ford (17053), Iroquois (17075), Pope (17151), Pulaski (17153), Union (17181), Vermilion (17183), Wayne (17191)
IN Bartholomew (18005), Benton (18007), Boone (18011)*, Brown (18013), Carroll (18015)*, Cass (18017), Clark (18019), Clay (18021), Crawford (18025), Dearborn (18029)*, Decatur (18031), Floyd (18043), Fountain (18045), Fulton (18049), Grant (18053), Greene (18055), Hamilton (18057), Hancock (18059), Harrison (18061), Hendricks (18063), Henry (18065), Jackson (18071), Jefferson (18077), Jennings (18079), Johnson (18081), Kosciusko (18085), Lawrence (18093), Madison (18095), Marion (18097), Martin (18101), Monroe (18105)*, Montgomery (18107), Morgan (18109), Orange (18117), Owen (18119), Parke (18121), Perry (18123), Pulaski (18131), Putnam (18133), Randolph (18135), Ripley (18137)*, Rush (18139), Scott (18143), Shelby (18145), Tipton (18159), Vermillion (18165), Warren (18171), Washington (18175)
KY Adair (21001), Allen (21003), Bath (21011), Boyd (21019), Breathitt (21025)*, Bullitt (21029), Butler (21031), Carter (21043), Casey (21045)*, Christian (21047), Clark (21049), Clay (21051), Clinton (21053)*, Edmonson (21061), Elliott (21063)*, Estill (21065), Floyd (21071)*, Fulton (21075), Graves (21083), Grayson (21085), Green (21087), Greenup (21089)*, Hardin (21093), Hart (21099), Henderson (21101)*, Hickman (21105), Jackson (21109), Jefferson (21111)*, Knox (21121), Larue (21123), Laurel (21125)*, Lawrence (21127)*, Lee (21129), Leslie (21131), Lewis (21135), Lincoln (21137), Logan (21141)*, Magoffin (21153)*, Marion (21155), McCreary (21147)*, McLean (21149)*, Metcalfe (21169), Montgomery (21173), Morgan (21175)*, Muhlenberg (21177), Nelson (21179), Ohio (21183), Oldham (21185)*, Owsley (21189), Powell (21197), Pulaski (21199), Rockcastle (21203)*, Rowan (21205), Russell (21207)*, Taylor (21217)*, Trigg (21221)*, Warren (21227), Washington (21229)*, Wayne (21231)*, Whitley (21235)*
MO Bollinger (29017), Butler (29023), Greene (29077), Jasper (29097), Lawrence (29109), Madison (29123), Oregon (29149), Ozark (29153), Ripley (29181), St. Francois (29187), Stoddard (29207), Wayne (29223), Webster (29225)
OH Brown (39015), Clermont (39025), Gallia (39053), Jackson (39079), Lawrence (39087), Ross (39141), Scioto (39145), Vinton (39163)
OK Johnston (40069)*, LeFlore (40079), McCurtain (40089), Pushmataha (40127)
TX Anderson (48001), Angelina (48005), Cherokee (48073), Hardin (48199), Harrison (48203), Houston (48225), Marion (48315), Montgomery (48339), Morris (48343), Nacogdoches (48347), Newton (48351), Polk (48373), San Augustine (48405), Shelby (48419), Trinity (48455)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Yellow (03140103)+, Pea (03140202)+, Lower Conecuh (03140304)+, Upper Alabama (03150201)+, Cahaba (03150202)+, Middle Alabama (03150203)+, Lower Alabama (03150204)+, Buttahatchee (03160103)+, Sipsey (03160107)+, Sipsey Fork (03160110)+, Upper Black Warrior (03160112)+, Lower Black Warrior (03160113)+*, Middle Tombigbee-Chickasaw (03160201)+, Sucarnoochee (03160202)+
05 Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Lower Levisa (05070203)+*, Big Sandy (05070204)+*, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+, Little Scioto-Tygarts (05090103)+, Little Sandy (05090104)+, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+, Little Miami (05090202)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+*, Licking (05100101)+, North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+*, Middle Fork Kentucky (05100202)+, South Fork Kentucky (05100203)+, Upper Kentucky (05100204)+, Lower Kentucky (05100205)+, Upper Green (05110001)+, Barren (05110002)+, Middle Green (05110003)+, Rough (05110004)+, Lower Green (05110005)+, Pond (05110006)+, Upper Wabash (05120101)+, Mississinewa (05120103)+, Tippecanoe (05120106)+, Wildcat (05120107)+*, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Vermilion (05120109)+, Sugar (05120110)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+, Embarras (05120112)+, Little Wabash (05120114)+*, Skillet (05120115)+, Upper White (05120201)+, Lower White (05120202)+, Eel (05120203)+, Driftwood (05120204)+, Flatrock-Haw (05120205)+, Upper East Fork White (05120206)+, Muscatatuck (05120207)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+, Patoka (05120209)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+*, Rockcastle (05130102)+*, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+*, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Rolling Fork (05140103)+, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+, Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon (05140201)+*, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+*, Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+
06 Lower Tennessee (06040006)+
07 Whitewater (07140107)+, Cache (07140108)+
08 Bayou De Chien-Mayfield (08010201)+, Obion (08010202)+, Upper St. Francis (08020202)+, Lower St. Francis (08020203)+, L'anguille (08020205)+, Big (08020304)+, Ouachita Headwaters (08040101)+, Upper Ouachita (08040102)+, Little Missouri (08040103)+, Upper Saline (08040203)+, Lower Saline (08040204)+, Bayou Bartholomew (08040205)+
11 James (11010002)+, Middle White (11010004)+, Buffalo (11010005)+, North Fork White (11010006)+, Upper Black (11010007)+, Current (11010008)+, Lower Black (11010009)+, Spring (11010010)+, Eleven Point (11010011)+, Strawberry (11010012)+, Little Red (11010014)+, Spring (11070207)+, Illinois (11110103)+, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+, Poteau (11110105)+, Frog-Mulberry (11110201)+, Dardanelle Reservoir (11110202)+, Lake Conway-Point Remove (11110203)+, Cadron (11110205)+, Fourche La Fave (11110206)+, Blue (11140102)+*, Kiamichi (11140105)+, Upper Little (11140107)+, Mountain Fork (11140108)+, Lower Little (11140109)+, Mckinney-Posten Bayous (11140201)+, Lake O'the Pines (11140305)+, Caddo Lake (11140306)+
12 Lower Sabine (12010005)+, Upper Neches (12020001)+, Middle Neches (12020002)+, Upper Angelina (12020004)+, Lower Angelina (12020005)+, Village (12020006)+, West Fork San Jacinto (12040101)+
+ 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).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Ovate outline, strongly sexually dimorphic (female much higher and truncate posteriorly, male with characteristic point at end of posterior slope), dark brown to black periostracum, purple nacre (at least in area populations).
Reproduction Comments: This species is possibly bradytictic (long-term brooder), unlike some northern congeners. The glochidial host is not known.
Ecology Comments: A widely distributed, relatively ecologically diverse form from mostly slow current, soft substrate areas of primarily smaller streams in lowlands, but also known from large rivers (e.g., Apalachicola) and upland habitats in the Apalachian mts. (e.g., Black Warrior River of Mobile basin, north Alabama). Often times one of, if not the, only unionid found in at least lowland, coastal drainages.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Greatest potential during glochidial stage on fish. Adults of this species are essentially sessile. Some passive movement downstream may occur during high flows.
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: "In sandy substrates in slight to moderate current" (Heard, 1979). "Prefers mud, particularly when rich in vegetable detritus" (Clench and Turner, 1956). Typically inhabits small creeks to medium-sized rivers, usually along the banks in slower currents. Characteristic more so of smaller streams than not, and may be the only species present (or with ELLIPTIO sp.) in headwater streams of the western panhandle. In the ACF basin, it is more common in tributary streams than main channels with 55% of specimens collected at sites with primarily muddy (silt, clay) substrates, and 33% at sites with predominantly sand and clay or limestone rock substrates (Brim Box and Williams, 2000).
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Parasitic
Food Comments: Presumably fine particulate organic matter, primarily detritus, and/or zooplankton, and/or phytoplankton (Fuller, 1974). Larvae (glochidia) of freshwater mussels generally are parasitic on fish and there may be a specificity among some species.
Length: 7.3 centimeters
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: 21May2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2009); Dirrigl, Frank Jr. (ERO) (1995)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Mar2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J. (2007); BUTLER, R.S. (1992)

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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References for Watershed Distribution Map
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