Mussel of the

Page last updated
6 July 2004

Mussel of the Month

The July 2004 Mussel of the Month is Schistodesmus lampreyanus. Schistodesmus is part of the diverse freshwater mussel fauna of China.

Schistodesmus lampreyanus
INHS 20154. Tai Hu Lake, Dong Shan, Guang Ming, Wu Xian, Jiangsu Province, China.
8 October 1988, A.E. Bogan, Shen, and Liu!

While the 380 species of freshwater mussels occurring in North and Central America represent the most diverse assemblage on Earth, southeast Asia is the second. The genus Schistodesmus represents two of the 210 species found in that part of the world.

Unfortunately, very little is known about Schistodesmus. But, fortunately, S. lampreyanus was included in a recent molecular phylogenetic study by Huang et al. They found Schistodesmus, as well as Lanceolaria, Arconaia, Cuneopsis and Acuticosta, were more closely related to Unio than to any of the genera in the other subfamilies of the Unionidae.


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily Unionoidea Rafinesque, 1820

Family Unionidae s.s.
Subfamily Unioninae s.s.
Tribe Unionini

Genus Schistodesmus Simpson, 1900

Species Schistodesmus lampreyanus (Baird & Adams, 1867)

For more information on the phylogenetic position of Schistodesmus and other southeast Asia genera, check out the following:
  • Huang et al. 2002. Testing the relationships of Chinese freshwater Unionidae (Bivalvia) based on analysis of partial mitochondrial 16S rRNA sequences. Journal of Molluscan Studies 68: 359-363.
NSF icon MUSSEL icon
"Making the world a better place, one mollusk at a time."