Mussel of the

Page last updated
2 September 2008

Mussel of the Month

The September 2008 Mussel of the Month is Monocondylaea paraguayana. Monocondylaea is currently recognized as a genus of three species occurring only in South America.

Monocondylaea paraguayana
BMNH 1854.9.4.13. Rio Parana, Prov. Corrientes, Argentina.

The taxonomy of Monocondylaea (and other Neotropical genera of freshwater mussels) is currently in a state of flux. Haas (1969), for example, recognized 5 species, whereas only three were listed as valid by Simone (2006). In general, between the global treatment of Haas and the almost continent-wide revision by Simone, the acknowledged diversity of South American mussels has decreased, although only slightly. By our estimate, Haas (1969) listed around 187 species as occurring in South America, whereas our finally count after incorporating Simone's results was 172. This is in contrast of the Old World, where Haas consistently under-estimated freshwater mussel species diversity (Graf & Cummings, 2007).


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily ETHERIOIDEA Deshayes, 1830

Family MYCETOPODIDAE Gray, 1840
Subfamily MONOCONDYLAEINAE Modell, 1942

Genus Monocondylaea d'Orbigny, 1835

Species Monocondylaea paraguayana (d'Orbigny, 1835)

For more information about Monocondylaea and the classification of Neotropical freshwater mussels check out:
  • Haas, F. 1969. Superfamilia Unionacea. Das Tierreich (Berlin) 88: 663 pp.
  • Simone, L.R.L. 2006. Land and Freshwater Molluscs of Brazil: An Illustrated Inventory of the Brazilian Malacofauna, Including Neighboring Regions of South America, Respect to the Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecosystems. EGB. Fapesp. São Paulo. 390 pp.
  • Graf, D.L. & K.S. Cummings. 2007. Review of the systematics and global diversity of freshwater mussel species (Bivalvia: Unionoida). Journal of Molluscan Studies 73: 291-314.
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