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Mussel of the
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Page last updated
2 October 2020

Mussel of the Month

The October 2020 Mussel of the Month is Bineurus mouhotii. Bineurus is a genus of two species from southeast Asia.

Bineurus mouhotii
USNM 86339. Laos Mts., Cambodia (type).

In the northern hemisphere, autumn is settling in, and Halloween is just around the corner — which is perfect for Bineurus mouhotii as Mussel of the Month. If you find splitting spooky and are haunted by genus-level revisions, then you will be taxonomically terrified by the dismemberment of Bineurus from the old Pseudodon.

Pseudodon sensu lato was a big, messy but not scary genus of more than 20 species distributed among multiple subgenera in East Asia (Graf & Cummings, 2007), but terror was lurking in the shadows of phylogenetic ignorance. At a full moon or after a radioactive meteor crashed or somebody got bitten by a bat or following series of phylogenetic studies sampling from throughout the range of Pseudodon s.l. (Lopes-Lima et al., 2017; Bolotov et al., 2017, 2020), the ancient, cursed were-genus metamorphosed into 36 species in nine genera in two tribes: Pseudodon s.s. (13 spp.), Bineurus (2), Monodontina (7), Nyeinchanconcha (1), Sunadontina (10), Thaiconcha (2) [all Pseudodontini], and Obovalis (1) [Gonideini]. Bwaa haa haa!!!

As we have discussed in several recent posts about Trapezoideus, Beringiana, Leoparreysia, and others, genera and species have spawned in East Asia like a zombie contagion over the last few years — so much so that East Asia now eclipses North America as the regional freshwater mussel hotspot. While North America has been lying moldering at 302 species, East Asia — as if animated by lightning — has lurched forward in species richness to 322. Like any good horror story, expect some macabre sequels as more data burst forth like that thing in Alien.

Classification:

Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Veneroida

Superfamily UNIONOIDEA Rafinesque, 1820
Family UNIONIDAE s.s.
Subfamily GONIDEINAE Ortmann, 1916
Tribe PSEUDODONTINI Frierson, 1927
Subtribe PILSBRYOCONCHINA Bolotov, Vikhrev & Tumpeesuwan, 2017

Genus Bineurus Simpson, 1900

Species Bineurus mouhotii (Lea, 1863)

To find out more about Bineurus and the classification of East Asian freshwater mussels, check out:
 
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