Benthic Invertebrates of the Great Lakes - Bivalves

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Corbicula fluminea

Corbiculidae
(Asian clam)

1-2 inches, shell moderately thick and rounded. Yellowish brown to black, with elevated concentric ridges. Valves with true cardinal teeth. Ligament external.

1 exotic species present in Great Lakes.

Pisidium casertanum

Sphaeriidae
(fingernail clams)

<1 inch, shell thin and fragile. Whitish, concentric ridges not prominent. Valves with true cardinal teeth. Ligament external.

27 Great Lakes species

5 exotic species present in Great Lakes

quagga and zebra mussel

Dreisseniidae
(quagga & zebra mussels)

<1 inch, moderately thick, triangular, and more or less elongated. Surface variably banded with black or brown and cream stripes. Valves without true cardinal teeth. Byssal threads apparent. Ligament internal.

2 exotic species present in Great Lakes

Lampsilis radiata

Unionidae
(freshwater mussels)

Adults usually >1 inch. Pseudocardinal teeth, vestigial or absent. Ligament external.

42 Great Lakes species

1 exotic species present in Great Lakes.

Photos courtesy of: Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteUSGS, Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteSave the Clams, and Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteINHS

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteProfile: Class Bivalvia - University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteAnatomy: USFWS

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteIdentification: Field guide to Freshwater Mussels of the Midwest

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteTaxonomy: Freshwater Molluscan Shells

 

Juvenile stages may look quite different from the adults!
Juvenile bivalves can be planktonic, benthic, brooded within the parent or parasitic on other organisms such as fish.

For more life cycle information and juvenile images:

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteLife History of Freshwater Mussels - North Carolina Atlas of Freshwater Mussels and Endangered Fish
Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteFreshwater Mussel Life History - USFWS
Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteUniversity of Michigan - Animal Diversity Web

glochidia larvae of a clam
glochidia - BIODIDAC

zebra mussel post-veliger
Post-veliger

 

Species List

Class

  • Order
    • Family
      • Genus
        • Species Reported Locations**

** Reported locations based on a limited literature search. Codes indicate presence reported but absence of a code should not be interpreted as a species absence.

  • Pelecypoda (Bivalvia) (clams) XWRN12345 SMHEO
    • Prionodesmaceae (Veneroida)
      • Corbiculidae
        • Corbicula
          • C. fluminea R ME (Exotic)
      • Dreisseniidae X12345 SMHEO
        • Dreissena spp.
          • D. polymorpha 1234 XSHEO* (Exotic)
          • D. bugensis 12345 MHEO* (Exotic)
      • Sphaeriidae (Pisidiidae ) (fingernail clams) XWRN12345 SMHEO
        • Musculium spp. XR SEO
          • M. lacustre S
          • M. partumeium SEO
          • M. securis X
          • M. transversum R E
        • Pisidium spp. XWRN12345 SMHEO
          • P. adamsi S
          • P. amnicum SO (Exotic)
          • P. casertanum XRN1 SO
          • P. compressum S
          • P. conventus 1 SO
          • P. fallax R
          • P. ferrugineum R1 SO
          • P. henslowanum R (Exotic)
          • P. idahoense S
          • P. insigne S
          • P. lilljeborgi R1 SO
          • P. milium S
          • P. moitessieranum S (Exotic)
          • P. nitidum S
          • P. simplex S
          • P. subtruncatum S
          • P. supinum (Exotic)
          • P. variabile 1 O
          • P. ventricosum S
          • P. walkeri S
        • Sphaerium spp. WR1 SMHEO
          • S. corneum SMEO (Exotic)
          • S. nitidum 1 SO
          • S. simile R
          • S. striatinum R S
    • Unionoida
      • Unionidae (freshwater mussels) XWR HCE
        • Actinonais sp.
          • A. ligamentina CEO
        • Alasmidonta spp.
          • A. marginata CEO
          • A. undulata O
          • A. viridis CEO
        • Amblema sp.
          • A. plicata plicata CE
        • Anodontoides
          • A. ferussacianus CEO
        • Cyclonais sp.
          • C. tuberculata CE
        • Elliptio spp.
          • E. complanta CEO
          • E. dilatata CEO
        • Epioblasma spp.
          • E. torulosa rangiana CE
          • E. triquetra CE
        • Fusconia sp.
          • F. flava CE
        • Lampsilis spp.
          • L. cardium CE
          • L. fascicola CE
          • L. ovata W HCEO
          • L. radiata R CEO
          • L. siliquoidea CEO
        • Lasmigona spp.
          • L. complanata complanata CEO
          • L. compressa CEO
          • L. costata CEO
          • L. subviridis E (Exotic)
        • Leptodea sp.
          • L. fragilis CEO
        • Ligumia spp.
          • L. nasuta CEO
          • L. recta CEO
        • Obliquaria sp.
          • O. reflexa CE
        • Obovaria sp.
          • O. subrotunda CE
        • Pleurobema spp.
          • P. coccineum CE
          • P. sintoxia C
        • Potamilus spp.
          • P. alatus CEO
          • P. ohiensis E
        • Ptychobranchus sp.
          • P. fasciolaris CE
        • Pyganodon spp.
          • P. cataracta CEO
          • P. grandis CEO
        • Quadrula spp.
          • Q. pustulosa pustulosa CE
          • Q. quadrula CE
        • Simpsonais sp.
          • S. ambigua CE
        • Strophitus sp.
          • S. undulatus CEO
        • Toxolasma sp.
          • T. parvus CE
        • Truncilla spp.
          • T. donaciformis CE
          • T. truncata CE
        • Utterbackia sp.
          • U. imbecillis CEO
        • Villosa spp.
          • V. fabalis CE
          • V. iris CEO

* (Dominant) based on:

S (Lake Superior) based on:

M (Lake Michigan) based on combination of:

H (Lake Huron) based on:

C (St. Clair - Detroit River Corridor) based on:

E (Lake Erie) based on:

O (Lake Ontario) based on:

X (Great Lakes coastal wetlands) based on:

W (wave zone = 0-2m) based on:

R (rocky habitats) based on: globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteBenthic Community Structure and Composition among rocky habitats in the Great Lakes and Keuka Lake, NY. 1987. Michael H. Winnell and David J. Jude. JGLR 13(1)3-17. and Pothoven et al. In press.

L (littoral) based on: globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteRelationships among zoobenthos, sediments, and organic matter in littoral zones of western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. 1983. Richard A. Cole and Diana L. Weigmann. JGLR 9(4)568-581.

N (nearshore) based on:

1 = 14-30m based on:

2 = 31-50m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society. and Pothoven et al. In press.

3 = 51-70m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society.

4 = 71-90m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society.

5 = >90m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society.

 

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