Mussel of the

Page last updated
11 November 2017

Mussel of the Month

The November 2017 Mussel of the Month is Parvaspina collina. Parvaspina is a genus of two species endemic to the southern Atlantic Slope of the eastern United States.

ANSP 41007. Rockbridge Co., Va. (T.A. Conrad!). (type).

We have a new genus to write about this month!

The problem of "Pleurobema" collina has been with us for a while. Whenever P. collina had been included in a phylogenetic analysis, it was not resolved distant from Pleurobema (Campbell et al., 2005, 2008), and most of the time, the rest of Pleurobema was not recovered as monophyletic (Burdick & White, 2007; Campbell & Lydeard, 2012a-b; Burlakova et al., 2012; Pfeiffer et al., 2016).

The recent analysis by Perkins et al. (2017) recovered P. collina in a clade with "Elliptio" steinstansana, distinct from both Pleurobema and Elliptio. This phylogenetic result has been enshrined in classification by assigning those two species to a new genus, Parvaspina. Progress!

Next month, the classification and MUSSEL Project database served on this site will be updated to reflect this and other updates to mussel taxonomy. Watch this space!


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Family UNIONINDAE Rafinesque, 1820
Subfamily AMBLEMINAE Rafinesque, 1820
Tribe PLEUROBEMINI Hannibal, 1912

Genus Parvaspina Perkins, Johnson & Gangloff, 2017

Species Parvaspina collina (Conrad, 1837)

To find out more about Parvaspina collina and the phylogeny of North American freshwater mussels, check out:
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