Mussel of the

Page last updated
30 April 2007

Mussel of the Month

The May 2007 Mussel of the Month is Diplodontites cookei. There are only three species of Diplodontites, and they are all known from a small area of northwestern South America.

Diplodontites cookei
USNM 341473. Dept. Santander, Colombia

Little can be said definitivelyabout Diplodontites except that it is a unique genus. Based upon the morphology of the hinge teeth, it seems to be part of the subfamily Monocondylaeinae. However, we know little if nothing about its soft-anatomy.

One of the most interesting things that we know about Diplodontites is that while all three species in the genus occur west of the Andes in Colombia, D. cookei is also known from the upper Amazon in Peru. That is a significant disjunction, given the appareny biogeographical barrier presented by the mountains.


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily ETHERIOIDEA Deshayes, 1830

Family MYCETOPODIDAE Gray, 1840
Subfamily MONOCONDYLAEINAE Modell, 1942

Genus Diplodontites Marshall, 1922

Species Diplodontites cookei Marshall, 1922

For more information about Diplodontites, check out:
  • Haas, F. 1969. Superfamilia Unionacea. Das Tierreich (Berlin) 88: 663 pp.
  • Marshall, W.B. 1922. New pearly freshwater mussels from South America. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 61: 1-9.
  • Olsson, A.A. & C.B. Wurtz. 1951. New Colombian Naiades, with observations on other species. Notulae Naturae 239: 1-9.
NSF icon MUSSEL icon
"Making the world a better place, one mollusk at a time."