Anodonta californiensis - I. Lea, 1852
California Floater
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Anodonta californiensis I. Lea, 1852 (TSN 79944)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.108832
Element Code: IMBIV04020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Anodonta
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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: Anodonta californiensis
Taxonomic Comments: Since the time of Call (1884) there has been much confusion regarding the taxonomic status of this and other floaters (Anodonta) of western North America. Isaac Lea (1838) described Anodonta wahlametensis, Anodonta nuttalliana, and Anodonta oregonensis from the same site ("Wahlamet [Willamette River], near its junction with the Columbia River [Oregon]") all in the same publication. Call (1884) considered Anodonta nuttalliana to include, as synonyms, Anodonta wahlametensis, Anodonta oregonensis, and Anodonta californiensis. Recent authors (e.g., Burch, 1975, Clarke, 1981; Turgeon et al., 1998), however, have considered A. californiensis, A. nuttalliana, and A. oregonensis to be distinct. Some authors even continue to recognize Anodonta wahlamatensis as a distinct species (Frest and Johannes, 1995; Taylor, 1981; Henderson, 1929) while most place it in the synonymy of A. nuttaliana (Burch, 1975; Turgeon et al., 1998). Whether A. wahlamatensis should be removed from the synonymy of A. nuttalliana will depend on future anatomical and genetic work on western Anodonta. According to T. Frest, Anodonta nuttalliana has been revised to the following; Anodonta nuttalliana nuttalliana and Anodonta nuttalliana wahlametensis = Anodonta wahlametensis, and, Anodonta nuttalliana idahoensis and Anodonta nuttalliana californiensis = Anodonta californiensis (pers. comm. Amy Stock, WA-NHP, 1996). Considerable taxonomic confusion surrounds this species complex. Mock et al. (2004; 2005) found a lack of resolution (very little nuclear diversity) in phylogenetic reconstructions of Anodonta (A. californiensis, A. oregonensis, A. wahlamatensis) populations in the Bonneville Basin, Utah, but there was a tendency for the Bonneville Basin Anodonta (tentatively A. californiensis) to cluster with A. oregonensis from the adjacent Lahontan Basin in Nevada. Zanatta et al. (2007) supported the monophyly of both Pyganodon and Utterbackia using mutation coding of allozyme data, but also resolved the Eurasian Anodonta cygnea to Pyganodon, Utterbackia, and North American Anodonta; indicating futher phylogenetic analysis of the Anodontinae is required including both North American and Eurasian species. In a phylogenetic analysis of western North American Anodonta using topotypic material as was available, Chong et al. (2008) found three deeply divided lineages: one clade including Anodonta oregonensis and Anodonta kennerlyi, one clade including Anodonta californiensis and Anodonta nuttalliana, and one clade including Anodonta beringiana. A. californiensis is likely to be synonymized with nuttalliana in the near future.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3Q
Global Status Last Reviewed: 26Sep2006
Global Status Last Changed: 15Dec2003
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This species was once thought to have been widespread in the Pacific Drainage from British Columbia into Mexico, but there is considerable taxonomic confusion as to the placement of the western North American Anodonta species. The current range however is patchy, and it has apparently disappeared from the Central Valley in California. Extant occurrences in the Columbia and Snake river systems are threatened by river impoundment. If this species turns out to be a composite, its conservation status would require re-evaluation.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (04Nov1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (14Jul2006)

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 Arizona (S1), California (S2?), Idaho (S3), Nevada (S1), Oregon (S2), Utah (S2), Washington (S2), Wyoming (S2)

Other Statuses

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

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range is unclear due to taxonomic uncertainty with the Pacific Drainage members of this genus. In the broadest view, it once ranged from southern British Columbia south to northernmost Baja California, eastward to western Wyoming, eastern Arizona and Chihuahua (Mexico), but this distribution probably includes records for other species (Taylor, 1981; Nedeau et al., 2005) such as Anodonta nuttalliana. Taylor (1987) lists the species in 4 inch or greater depth pools in a spring complex above the North Fork of the East Fork of the Black River, Apache Co., Arizona. Clark and Hovingh (1993) state that "As presently understood this species occurs in California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona." and that the closely related Anodonta nuttalliana occurs in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Preliminary analysis (K. Mock, Utah State University, pers. comm.) indicates Utah Anodonta are distinct from Anodonta oregonensis of the Pacific northwest and should tentatively be assigned to Anodonta californiensis pending future taxonomic work. Presently, Frest and Johannes (1995) report the range has been reduced and extant populations are currently found in the following areas: the Middle Snake River in Idaho; the Fall and Pit rivers in Shasta County, California; the Okanogan river in Chelan County, Washington; and Roosevelt and Curlew lakes in Ferry County, Washington. No living specimens were found in the Willamette and lower Columbia rivers in searches by Frest and Johannes conducted from 1988-1990. Taylor (1981) reports that most of the natural populations in California have been eradicated and it is probably extinct in most of the Central Valley of southern California. In Utah the only recent records are in two widely-spaced locations, Big Creek and Reddin Spring pond, but it may still be extant in the Raft River and portions of the Bear River drainage (Clark and Hovingh, 1993). It is extirpated from Utah Lake. Hovingh (2004) found it widely distributed in the Humboldt River drainage (Lahontan Basin) in northern Nevada, in the bonneville Basin in Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming, and in the Malheur and Warner Basins in Oregon. Mock et al. (2005) list six sites in the Bonneville basin of Utah tentatively assigned to this species.

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

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Number of occurrences (>20 but <100) uncertain. Beetle (1989) and Cvancara (2005) list the Bear River in Uinta Co., Wyoming. In Utah, 2 to 6 sites known from Utah, Millard, Rich, Tooele, and Box Elder Cos. (Oliver and Bosworth, 1999); with recent occurrences (tentatively A. californiensis) in Bear River, Redden Spring, Pruess Lake, Piute Reservoir, Otter Creek Reservoir, and Burriston Ponds (Mock et al., 2004). Mock et al. (2004) cite it (tentative A. californiensis) from the Black River, Apache, Arizona. Frest and Johannes (1995) report range reduced and extant in: Middle Snake River in Idaho; Fall and Pit Rivers in Shasta Co., California; Okanogan River in Chelan Co., Washington; and Roosevelt and Curlew Lakes in Ferry Co., Washington. No living specimens in the Willamette and lower Columbia rivers in searches by Frest and Johannes 1988-1990. Frest and Johannes (2000) list it as common locally in the Snake River and major tributaries. Taylor (1981) reports most California populations eradicated and likely extinct in most of the Central Valley. Currently in California, it is in the S Fork Eel, River, Lake Del Valle, Suisun Marsh, W Fork Walker River, Big Lake, Fall River, Tule River, Hat Creek, Russian River, Clear Lake, Pit and S Fork Pit River, Sacremento River, Donner Lake, Scott River, Lost River, Pajaro River, San Joaquin River, Dye Creek, Shasta River, Bridgeport Reservoir, Salton Sea, and Susan River (Howard, 2010). It was once throughout 6 major drainages in Arizona (incl. Lake Mead, Grand Canyon, Lower Colorado-Marble Canyon, Lower Lake Powell), but today only parts of the Black River drainage and Little Colorado River (Nedeau et al., 2005). In Utah the only recent records are widely spaced, Big Creek and Reddin Spring Pond, may be extant in the Raft River and portions of Bear River drainage (Clark and Hovingh, 1993). Hovingh (2004) found it widely distributed in the Humboldt River drainage (Lahontan Basin) in northern Nevada, Bonneville Basin in Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming, and Malheur and Warner Basins in Oregon. Also Nevada: Great Salt Lake, North Fork Humboldt, Truckee, and Carson Desert basins (NV NHP, pers. comm., 2007). Mock et al. (2004) found Bonneville Basin (Utah) population cluster with A. oregonensis from adjacent Lahontan Basin (surveyed in Elko, Nevada) and the Middle Snake/Powder basin (Baker Co., Oregon). Mock et al. (2004) differentiated Glenn and Solano Co., California, as A. wahlamatensis thereby limiting A. californiensis populations to Utah (see above) and Arizona (Black River in Apache). In Oregon, several populations recently found in the Middle Fork John Day River and lower mainstem Umatilla River, but ID not possible (Brim Box et al., 2003; 2006), evidence indicates John Day River population includes A. californiensis/nuttalliana clade and Umatilla River population include A. oregonensis/kennerlyi and A. californiensis/nuttalliana clades in sympatry (K. Mock, UT State U., pers. comm., 2007). Chong et al. (2008) utilized specimens from the East Fork Black River, Arizona, in their phylogenetic study. Recent Washington records are mainly from the Columbia and Okanogan Rivers and some ponds adjacent to the Columbia River (Nedeau et al., 2005). In Arizona, Bequaert and Miller (1973) list the Lower Colorado, San Pedro-Wilcox, Chevelon, and Little Colorado drainages (historical) and only recent in the Black River drainage. Historically in Arizona, it was in most drainages including the Black, Salt, Santa Cruz, Verde, Gila and Colorado Rivers, but today only the upper Black River in the the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest to at least the White Mountain Apache Reservation (AZ NHP, pers. comm., 2007). It may be extant on Chevelon Creek according to Landye (1988). Lysne and Clark (2009) found it in the Bruneau River, Idaho.

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: In a survey streams in California, approximately 8000 individuals were found in the upper reaches of the Eel River (none in Ten Mile, Elder, or Fox Creeks), restricted to the lower 2 km of the upper portion of the river (Cuffey, 2002).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown
Viability/Integrity Comments: In California, this species is sparsely dispersed and not found in dense beds except 1 site on the South Fork Eel River (U. of California Natural Reserve system property) where thousands are packed into a 100 meter-long meander bend (Howard, 2010).

Overall Threat Impact: Unknown
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include pollution; diversion of rivers for irrigation, hydroelectric, and water supply projects; elimination of natural fish hosts; eutropification due to agricultural runoff and urbanization; impoundments.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Frest and Johannes (1995) report it is declining in terms of area occupied and number of sites and individuals. Widely distributed though scarce; likely extirpated from the Colorado River basin in Arizona and Death Valley Basin, Los Angeles Basin, and Central Valley in Caifornia (Hovingh, 2004). It appears all mussels are extirpated from southern California, south of Santa Cruz (Howard, 2010). A recent survey of 115 sites in the Plumas, Tahoe, and Eldorado National Forests plus Lake Tahoe Basin management unit found no Anodonta specimens (0 of 70+ streams) except a few whole shells at 15 m depth in Donner Lake despite historical occurrences there (Howard, 2008). The species is declining (possibly extirpated) in Utah with historic populations only in the Raft River (Box Elder Co.), Utah Lake (Utah Co.), and Bear Lake (Rich Co.) (Oliver and Bosworth, 1999). It is nearly extirpated from Arizona and has disappeared from the Sacramento River system. In Canada, this species occurs in British Columbia where it is declining (Metcalfe-Smith and Cudmore-Vokey, 2004). Regardless of the taxonomic outcome of analysis of Anodonta molecular phylogeny, it is widely recognized that Anodonta in the western U.S. are in decline (Mock et al., 2004).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Range has been drastically reduced and the species has become extirpated from much of Utah, the Sacramento River system, and most of Arizona.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Mock et al. (2004) found populations of Anodonta (tentatively Anodonta californiensis but further taxonomic study could reveal them to be Anodonta oregonensis or Anodonta wahlamatensis) from the Bonneville Basin of Utah were strongly structured with little or no recent gene flow among extant populations that are currently hydrologically separated.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: It can tolerate some water pollution, but not heavy nutrient enhancement (Frest and Johannes, 1995).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: In order to assess causes underlying low diversity in some populations (particularly Utah and Nevada), more thorough surveys should be conducted to estiamte population sizes and trends, to evaluate habitat quality and quantity, and to locate and characterize additional populations.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Range is unclear due to taxonomic uncertainty with the Pacific Drainage members of this genus. In the broadest view, it once ranged from southern British Columbia south to northernmost Baja California, eastward to western Wyoming, eastern Arizona and Chihuahua (Mexico), but this distribution probably includes records for other species (Taylor, 1981; Nedeau et al., 2005) such as Anodonta nuttalliana. Taylor (1987) lists the species in 4 inch or greater depth pools in a spring complex above the North Fork of the East Fork of the Black River, Apache Co., Arizona. Clark and Hovingh (1993) state that "As presently understood this species occurs in California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona." and that the closely related Anodonta nuttalliana occurs in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Preliminary analysis (K. Mock, Utah State University, pers. comm.) indicates Utah Anodonta are distinct from Anodonta oregonensis of the Pacific northwest and should tentatively be assigned to Anodonta californiensis pending future taxonomic work. Presently, Frest and Johannes (1995) report the range has been reduced and extant populations are currently found in the following areas: the Middle Snake River in Idaho; the Fall and Pit rivers in Shasta County, California; the Okanogan river in Chelan County, Washington; and Roosevelt and Curlew lakes in Ferry County, Washington. No living specimens were found in the Willamette and lower Columbia rivers in searches by Frest and Johannes conducted from 1988-1990. Taylor (1981) reports that most of the natural populations in California have been eradicated and it is probably extinct in most of the Central Valley of southern California. In Utah the only recent records are in two widely-spaced locations, Big Creek and Reddin Spring pond, but it may still be extant in the Raft River and portions of the Bear River drainage (Clark and Hovingh, 1993). It is extirpated from Utah Lake. Hovingh (2004) found it widely distributed in the Humboldt River drainage (Lahontan Basin) in northern Nevada, in the bonneville Basin in Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming, and in the Malheur and Warner Basins in Oregon. Mock et al. (2005) list six sites in the Bonneville basin of Utah tentatively assigned to this species.

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, ID, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Coconino (04005), Greenlee (04011), Navajo (04017)
CA Calaveras (06009), Inyo (06027), Mendocino (06045), Tuolumne (06109)
ID Bear Lake (16007)*, Elmore (16039), Gooding (16047), Jerome (16053), Kootenai (16055)*, Minidoka (16067), Owyhee (16073), Power (16077)*, Twin Falls (16083), Washington (16087)*
NV Churchill (32001), Elko (32007)*, Lander (32015), Washoe (32031)
OR Clatsop (41007), Columbia (41009), Coos (41011)*, Deschutes (41017), Grant (41023), Harney (41025), Jackson (41029)*, Josephine (41033)*, Klamath (41035), Malheur (41045), Multnomah (41051), Sherman (41055), Umatilla (41059), Wasco (41065), Washington (41067)
UT Box Elder (49003), Cache (49005), Juab (49023), Millard (49027), Piute (49031), Rich (49033), Salt Lake (49035), Tooele (49045), Utah (49049)*
WA Benton (53005)+, Chelan (53007)+, Clark (53011)+, Ferry (53019)+, Garfield (53023)+, Grant (53025)+, Lincoln (53043)+, Okanogan (53047)+, Spokane (53063)+, Stevens (53065)+, Wahkiakum (53069)+, Walla Walla (53071)+
WY Uinta (56041)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
14 Lower Lake Powell (14070006)*
15 Lower Colorado-Marble Canyon (15010001)*, Grand Canyon (15010002)*, Lake Mead (15010005)*, Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, Upper Little Colorado (15020002), Silver (15020005)+, Middle Little Colorado (15020008)+, Chevelon Canyon (15020010)+, Havasu-Mohave Lakes (15030101)*, Imperial Reservoir (15030104)*, Lower Colorado (15030107)*, Yuma Desert (15030108)*, Upper San Pedro (15050202)*, Upper Santa Cruz (15050301)*, Black (15060101)+, White (15060102)*, Upper Salt (15060103)*, Carrizo (15060104)*, Tonto (15060105)*, Lower Salt (15060106)*, Big Chino-Williamson Valley (15060201)*, Upper Verde (15060202)*, Lower Verde (15060203)*, Lower Gila-Painted Rock Reservoir (15070101)*, Lower Gila (15070201)*, Tenmile Wash (15070202)*, San Cristobal Wash (15070203)*, Whitewater Draw (15080301)*, San Bernardino Valley (15080302)*
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+, Central Bear (16010102), Bear Lake (16010201)+, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Lower Bear-Malad (16010204)+, Utah Lake (16020201)+, Spanish Fork (16020202), Provo (16020203)*, Jordan (16020204)+, Hamlin-Snake Valleys (16020301)+, Southern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020306)+, Pilot-Thousand Springs (16020307)+, Northern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020308), Upper Sevier (16030001)+, East Fork Sevier (16030002)+, Middle Sevier (16030003)*, Lower Sevier (16030005)+, Upper Humboldt (16040101), North Fork Humboldt (16040102)+, South Fork Humboldt (16040103), Pine (16040104), Middle Humboldt (16040105), Rock (16040106), Reese (16040107)+, Lower Humboldt (16040108)*, Little Humboldt (16040109), Upper Quinn (16040201)+, Smoke Creek Desert (16040203)*, Truckee (16050102)+, Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes (16050103)*, Carson Desert (16050203)+, West Walker (16050302)*, Walker Lake (16050304)*
17 Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Lower Spokane (17010307), Little Spokane (17010308), Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (17020001), Kettle (17020002), Colville (17020003), Sanpoil (17020004), Okanogan (17020006), Similkameen (17020007), Wenatchee (17020011), Upper Crab (17020013), Banks Lake (17020014), Lower Crab (17020015), Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016), Portneuf (17040208)*, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Raft (17040210), Goose (17040211), Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Salmon Falls (17040213)+*, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Bruneau (17050102)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103), East Little Owyhee. Nevada, (17050106), Middle Owyhee (17050107), Middle Snake-Payette (17050115)+*, Lower Snake-Tucannon (17060107), Walla Walla (17070102), Umatilla (17070103)+, North Fork John Day (17070202), Middle Fork John Day (17070203)+, Upper Deschutes (17070301), Lower Crooked (17070305)+, Lower Deschutes (17070306)+, Lower Columbia-Sandy (17080001)+, Lower Columbia-Clatskanie (17080003)+, Lower Columbia (17080006)+, Upper Willamette (17090003), Middle Willamette (17090007), Tualatin (17090010)+, Lower Willamette (17090012)+, Coos (17100304)+*, Coquille (17100305)+*, Lower Rogue (17100310)+*, Harney-Malheur Lakes (17120001)+*, Silvies (17120002)+*, Donner Und Blitzen (17120003)+, Silver (17120004)+, Warner Lakes (17120007)
18 South Fork Eel (18010106)+, Upper Klamath Lake (18010203)+, Upper Klamath (18010206)+*, Shasta (18010207)*, Upper Pit (18020002)*, Lower Pit (18020003), Sacramento-Lower Cow-Lower Clear (18020101)*, Lower Cottonwood (18020102)*, Sacramento-Lower Thomes (18020103)*, Sacramento-Stone Corral (18020104)*, Lower Butte (18020105)*, Lower Feather (18020106)*, Lower Yuba (18020107)*, Lower Bear (18020108)*, Lower Sacramento (18020109)*, Lower Cache (18020110)*, Lower American (18020111)*, Sacramento-Upper Clear (18020112)*, Cottonwood headwaters (18020113)*, Upper Elder-Upper Thomes (18020114)*, Upper Stony (18020115)*, Upper Cache (18020116)*, Upper Putah (18020117)*, Upper Cow-Battle (18020118)*, Mill-Big Chico (18020119)*, Upper Butte (18020120)*, Upper Kern (18030001)*, South Fork Kern (18030002)*, Middle Kern-Upper Tehachapi- (18030003)*, Upper Poso (18030004)*, Upper Deer-Upper White (18030005)*, Upper Tule (18030006)*, Upper Kaweah (18030007)*, Mill (18030008)*, Upper Dry (18030009)*, Upper King (18030010)*, Upper Los Gatos-Avenal (18030011)*, Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes (18030012)*, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040001)*, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040002)*, San Joaquin Delta (18040003)*, Lower Calaveras-Mormon Slough (18040004)*, Lower Cosumnes-Lower Mokelumne (18040005)*, Upper San Joaquin (18040006)*, Upper Chowchilla-Upper Fresno (18040007)*, Upper Merced (18040008)*, Upper Tuolumne (18040009)*, Upper Stanislaus (18040010)+, Upper Calaveras (18040011)*, Upper Mokelumne (18040012)*, Upper Cosumnes (18040013)*, Panoche-San Luis Reservoir (18040014)*, Pajaro (18060002)*, Salinas (18060005)*, Central Coastal (18060006)*, Los Angeles (18070105)*, Santa Ana (18070203)*, Santa Margarita (18070302)*, Surprise Valley (18080001)*, Madeline Plains (18080002)*, Honey-Eagle Lakes (18080003)*, Crowley Lake (18090102)+, Owens Lake (18090103)*, Eureka-Saline Valleys (18090201)*, Death Valley-Lower Amargosa (18090203)*, Panamint Valley (18090204)*, Indian Wells-Searles Valleys (18090205)*, Antelope-Fremont Valleys (18090206)*, Coyote-Cuddeback Lakes (18090207)*, Mojave (18090208)*, Salton Sea (18100200)*
+ 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
Reproduction Comments: d'Eliscu (1972) reported the mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, as a glochidial host in laboratory testing.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This is a low elevation species that is found in both lakes and lake-like stream environments (Frest and Johannes, 1995).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Nonnative species are frequently the target of eradication efforts in the western U.S., but they may be serving as host fish for species in the western Anodonta complex in the absence of native host fish and fish stockign may result in unwanted gene flow between geographically disjunct populations. Broad scale analyses of genetic and mophological variation among Anodonta in western North America is necessary.
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: 14Sep2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 26Sep2006
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).

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