Connecting the environment of the ancient past with the natural and cultural history of yesterday and today.




Ohio River Mussels*


* This list is for the Ohio River, as reported from the Indiana side.

Courtesy B. Fisher, Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Fish & Wildlife

Names are used by the American Fisheries Society.

Species - link to the Illinois Natural History Survey 'freshwater mussel field guide'

Common name - link to our images

Species                                    Common name              Abundance

Actinonaias ligamentina                    Mucket                                 common to rare

Amblema plicata                                Threeridge                           common

Anodonta suborbiculata                    Flat floater                            very rare

Arcidens confragosus                        Rock pocketbook                very rare (lower river only)

Cyclonaias tuberculata                      Purple wartyback                common to rare

Cyprogenia stegaria                           Fanshell                               extirpated

Ellipsaria lineolata                              Butterfly                                common

Elliptio crassidens                               Elephant-ear                       common

Elliptio dilatata                                     Spike                                   rare

Epioblasma torulosa torulosa           Tubercled blossom            extirpated  


Fusconaia ebena                                Ebonyshell                          common

Fusconaia flava                                  Wabash pigtoe                   common

Fusconaia sobrotunda                       Long-solid                           extirpated            

Lampsilis abrupta                               Pink mucket                        extirpated      

Lampsilis cardium                              Plain pocketbook               common                                 

Lampsilis ovata                                   Pocketbook                        very rare

Lampsilis siliquoidea                         Fatmucket                           common to rare

Lampsilis teres                                    Yellow sandshell                 common to rare

Lasmigona complanata                     White heelsplitter                very rare

Lasmigona costata                             Flutedshell                           rare         

Leptodea fragilis                                  Fragile papershell              common

Ligumia recta                                       Black sandshell                  common

Megalonaias nervosa                         Washboard                         common

Obliquaria reflexa                               Threehorn wartyback          common

Obovaria olivaria                                 Hickorynut                           common (lower river only)

Obovaria retusa                                   Pink ring                              extirpated

Obovaria subrotunda                          Round hickorynut                extirpated

Plethobasus cooperianus                  Orangefoot pimpleback     extirpated

Plethobasus cyphyus                         Sheepnose                          rare

Pleurobema clava                              Clubshell                               likely extirpated

Pleurobema cordatum                       Ohio pigtoe                          common to rare

Pleurobema plenum                           Rough pigtoe                      extirpated

Pleurobema rubrum                            Pyramid pigtoe                   extirpated

Pleurobema sintoxia                           Round pigtoe                      common to rare

Potamilus alatus                                  Pink heelsplitter                  common

Potamilus capax                                  Fat pocketbook                  rare (lower river only)

Potamilus ohiensis                              Pink papershell                  common to rare

Ptychobranchus fasciolaris                Kidneyshell                         extirpated

Pyganodon grandis                             Floater                                 rare

Quadrula cylindrica cylindrica           Rabbitsfoot                         likely extirpated

Quadrula fragosa                                Winged mapleleaf              extirpated

Quadrula metanevra                           Monkeyface                        common

Quadrula nodulata                              Wartyback                           common

Quadrula pustulosa pustulosa          Pimpleback                         common

Quadrula quadrula                             Mapleleaf                              common

Toxolasma parvus                              Lilliput                                   rare

Tritogonia verrucosa                          Pistolgrip                              common

Truncilla donaciformis                       Fawnsfoot                            common to rare

Truncilla truncata                                Deertoe                                common to rare

Utterbackia imbecillus                       Pond papershell                  rare

Corbicula fluminea                             Asiatic clam                         exotic (non-native)

Dreissena polymorpha                      Zebra mussel                       exotic (non-native)   


Information about Mussels 

Invasive Clams of the Ohio River

Mussel Shell Morphology (ppt slide, courtesy Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife)

Mussel Gross Anatomy (ppt slide, courtesy Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife)

Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (link away from our web site)

Video about the life of mussels (~7 minutes, courtesy Missouri Dept. of Conservation)


For Kids!

Match seven river mussels by their common names.


Created December 8, 2010, Updated February 9, 2011