Mussel of the

Page last updated
4 October 2011

MUSSELp Evolution

Family-Group Level Classification of the Unionoida

The following classification of the Unionoida is the one that we use on this website. In October 2011, we abandoned our previous classification in favor of the current system. The new classification is based on a combination of three works:

  • Graf, D.L. & K.S. Cummings. 2006. Palaeoheterodont Diversity (Mollusca: Trigonioida + Unionoida): what we know and what we wish we knew about freshwater mussel evolution. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 148: 343-394.
  • Bieler, R., J.G. Carter, & E.V. Coan. 2010. Classification of bivalve families. pp. 113-133. [in] P. Bouchet & J.-P. Rocroi (eds.). Nomenclator of Bivalve Families. Malacologia 52(2): 1-184.
  • Whelan, N.V., A.J. Geneva & D.L. Graf. 2011. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of tropical freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) resolves the position of Coelatura and supports a monophyletic Unionidae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61: 504-514.

More information about the diversity and distributions of these taxa can be found on this web site under the Unionoida cum Grano Salis project or in our publication:

  • Graf, D.L. & K.S. Cummings. 2007. Review of the systematics and global diversity of freshwater mussel species (Bivalvia: Unionoida). Journal of Mollusca Studies 73: 291-314.
  • Family UNIONIDAE Rafinesque, 1820
    • Subfamily UNIONINAE s.s.
      • Tribe UNIONINI s.s.
      • Tribe ANODONTINI Rafinesque, 1820
    • Subfamily AMBLEMINAE Rafinesque, 1820
      • Tribe AMBLEMINI s.s.
      • Tribe LAMPSILINI von Ihering, 1901
      • Tribe PLEUROBEMINI Hannibal, 1912
      • Tribe QUADRULINI von Ihering, 1901
    • Subfamily "Gonideinae" Ortmann, 1916
    • Subfamily RECTIDENTINAE Modell, 1942
    • Subfamily MODELLNAIINAE Brandt, 1976
    • Subfamily PARREYSIINAE Henderson, 1935
      • Tribe PARREYSIINI s.s.
      • Tribe COELATURINI Modell, 1942
      • Tribe LAMELLIDENTINI Modell, 1942
      • Tribe OXYNAIINI Starobogatov, 1970
  • Family MARGARITIFERIDAE Haas, 1940
  • Family HYRIIDAE Swainson, 1840
    • Subfamily HYRIIINAE s.s.
      • Tribe HYRIINI s.s.
      • Tribe CASTALIINI Morretes, 1949
      • Tribe HYRIDELLINI McMichael, 1956 (1934)
      • Tribe RHIPIDODONTINI Starobogatov, 1970
    • Subfamily VELESUNIONINAE Iredale, 1934
  • Family ETHERIIDAE Deshayes, 1830
  • Family MYCETOPODIDAE Gray, 1840
    • Subfamily MYCETOPODINAE s.s.
    • Subfamily ANODONTITINAE Modell, 1942
    • Subfamily LEILINAE Lange de Morretes, 1949
    • Subfamily MONOCONDYLAEINAE Modell, 1942
  • Family "Iridinidae" Swainson, 1840
    • Subfamily IRIDININAE s.s.
    • Subfamily ASPATHARIINAE Modell, 1942

This textual representation of the classification of the Unioinoida can also be depicted as a cladogram, shown below.

classification cladogram

The phylogeny of the Unionoida is an area of active research. We expect that as more information in acquired and analyzed, our preferred classification will be further refined and improved.

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