Mussel of the

Page last updated
28 July 2019

Mussel of the Month

The October 2006 Mussel of the Month is Arconaia lanceolata. Appropriate for Halloween, Arconaia is a genus of bizarrely contorted freshwater mussels is known from China.

[Since October 2006, the former genus Arconaia has been synonymized down to a single species and incorporated into the genus Lanceolaria. — DLG]

Arconaia lanceolata
BMNH 1964400. Shanghai. H. Cuming Collection.
(specimen figured by Sowerby as Hyria contorta)

Arconaia, known only from China, is to-date known only from two species. One of these, A. huaihensis, was only described in 2003 by Huang & Li. Little has been published on the soft-anatomy and reproductive characters, but the phylogeny recovered in a recent analysis by Huang et al. (2002) suggests that they should share the suite of characters presented by genera like Unio (hooked glochidia, etc.).

The torsion of the shell can be either sinistral or dextral.


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily Unionoidea Rafinesque, 1230

Family Unionidae s.s.
Subfamily Unioninae s.s.

Genus Arconaia Conrad, 1865

Species Arconaia lanceolata (Lea, 1856)
(+ Hyria contorta Lea, 1857)

For more information about Arconaia, check out:
  • Savazzi, E. & Y. Peiyi. 1992. Some morphological adaptations in freshwater bivalves. Lethaia 25: 195-209.
  • Huang, Y.Y., H.Z. Liu, X.P. Wu & S. Ouyang. 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.
  • Huang, B.Y.& Y.C. Li. 2003. Bivalves in the Zhengyangguan part of the Huai River, Shou County, Anhui Province. Chinese Journal of Zoology 38: 80-85.
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