Mussel of the

Page last updated
31 January 2010

Mussel of the Month

The February 2010 Mussel of the Month is Pseudobaphia biesiana. Pseudobaphia is a genus of two species known only from China (and that is about the extent of our knowledge).

Pseudobaphia biesiana
SMF 3597. Ning-kouo-hien, China (paratype).

Pseudobaphia is another one of those genera for which almost nothing is known — except that it exists. Google returns a number of taxonomic databases that are able to confirm that there is a unionid genus by this name, although Google also suggests that we might be seeking the plant Pseudobahia (it looks like a daisy).

Queries to GoogleScholar and the Zoological Record return only 6 references: Simpson (1900), Modell (1942), Haas (1969), Vermeij & Dudley (1985), Prozorova et al. (2005), and our global checklist (Graf & Cummings, 2007). GoogleBooks returns a few more.

Prozorova et al. (2005) reported on this genus (although a different species than the one we figure here) in their paper on Yangtze mussels. That article is in Russian and only provides distributional data.The time is ripe to figure out where Pseudobaphia goes phylogenetically.

Prozorova et al. 2005


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily UNIONOIDEA Rafinesque, 1820

Family UNIONIDAE s.s

Genus Pseudobaphia Simpson, 1900

Species Pseudobaphia biesiana (Heude, 1877)

For more information about Pseudobaphia, check out:
  • 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.
  • Haas, F. 1969. Superfamilia Unionacea. Das Tierreich (Berlin) 88: 663 pp.
  • Modell, H. 1942. Das natürliche system der najaden. Archiv für Molluskenkunde 74(5-6): 161-191.
  • Prozorova, L.A., E.M. Sayenko, V.V. Bogatov, M. Wu, Y.-Y. Liu. 2005. [Bivalves of the Yangtze River drainage]. Byulleten' Dal'nevostochnogo Malakologicheskogo Obshchestva, 9: 46-58.
  • Simpson, C.T. 1900. Synopsis of the naiades, or pearly fresh-water mussels. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 22(1205): 501-1044.
  • Vermeij, G.J. and E.C. Dudley. 1985. Distribution of adaptations: A comparison between
    the functional morphology of freshwater and marine pelecypods. Pp. 461–478, In E.R.
    Trueman and M.R. Clarke (Eds.). The Mollusca. Volume 10: Evolution. Academic Press,
    Orlando, FL. 491 pp.
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