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Mussel of the
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Page last updated
2 April 2018

Mussel of the Month

The April 2018 Mussel of the Month is Villosa villosa. Villosa is a genus of four species endemic to southeastern North America.

Villosa
ANSP 20235. Ohio River, USA. (Poulson "type").

That isn’t a typo — Villosa, as we currently recognize the genus, has only four species. Until we updated our database of over spring break, Villosa had 15 species (Williams et al., 2017). But then Tom Watters (2018) revised the classification of those taxa (and others) and wound up with seven genera where we previously had three (including Ligumia and Venustaconcha). The table shows how things line up now compared to then.

THEN
Villosa villosa
Villosa amygdalum
Villosa delumbis
Villosa vibex
Villosa iris
+
(new)
Villosa nebulosa
+
Villosa sima
Villosa taeniata
Villosa lienosus
Villosa ortmanni
(new)
Villosa umbrans
Villosa vanuxemensis
Villosa fabalis
Ligumia recta
Ligumia nasuta
Ligumia subrostrata
Villosa aldermani
Villosa vaughniana
Venustaconcha ellipsiformis
Venustaconcha pleasii
Venustaconcha trabalis
Venustaconcha troostensis
Villosa constricta

NOW
Villosa villosa
Villosa amygdalum
Villosa delumbis
Villosa vibex
Cambarunio iris
Cambarunio dactylus
Cambarunio hesperus
Cambarunio nebulosa
Cambarunio jonesii
Cambarunio simus
Cambarunio taeniatus
Leaunio lienosus
Leaunio ortmanni
Leaunio pataecus
Leaunio umbrans
Leaunio vanuxemensis
Paetulunio fabalis
Ligumia recta
Sagittunio nasutus
Sagittunio subrostratus
Sagittunio aldermani
Sagittunio vaughnianus
Venustaconcha ellipsiformis
Venustaconcha pleasii
Venustaconcha trabalis
Venustaconcha troostensis
Venustaconcha constricta

We have been waiting for some time to feature Villosa as the Mussel of the Month. Kody Kuehnl’s (2009) dissertation of the phylogenetic relationships of Villosa sensu lato has been on our radar for years, and that work forms the basis of this revision.

The revision of Villosa as well as a few other works recently incorporated into the MUSSEL Project database (e.g., Froufe et al., 2017; Zieritz et al., 2018; Smith et al., 2018) added 17 new species to our global tally. Those changes are reflected in the latest versions of the MUSSELpdb and the Unionoida cum Grano Salis pages.

Classification:

Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily UNIONOIDEA Rafinesque, 1820
Family UNIONIDAE s.s.
Subfamily AMBLEMINAE s.s.
Tribe LAMPSILINI Ihering, 1901

Genus Villosa Frierson, 1927

Species Villosa villosa (B.H. Wright, 1898)

To find out more about Villosa and the new taxa from 2018, check out:
 
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