Mussel of the

Page last updated
28 July 2010

Mussel of the Month

The August 2010 Mussel of the Month is Anodontites crispata. Anodontites is a diverse genus of 21 species, widespread in Meso- and South America.

Anodontites crispata
MNHN. Cayenne?, du voyage de Cap. Baudin (Lamarck collection).

Last month, we featured Coelatura as an Afrotropical "garbage-pile" genus. The August 2010 Mussel of the Month crosses the Atlantic to highlight the type species of a Neotropical genus of comparable stature. It would come as no surprise to us if Anodontites proved paraphyletic. Nor would we eat our hats if this conchologically variable assemblage of species actually turned out to represent a clade.

A key difference between Coelatura and Anodontites --besides the fact that they belong to different families and are endemic to different continents -- is the amount of malacological attention the various species have received. Relative to many other tropical taxa, Anodontites has been well studied with regard to soft-anatomy, life history, larval morphology, and ecology. An excellent gateway into that literature is the marvelous bibliography provided by Simone (2006).


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily ETHERIOIDEA Deshayes, 1830

Family MYCETOPODIDAE Gray, 1840
Subfamily ANODONTITINAE Modell, 1942

Genus Anodontites Bruguière, 1792

Species Anodontites crispata Bruguière, 1792

To find about more about Anodontites and Neotropical mussel diversity, check out:
  • 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.
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