Mussel of the

Page last updated
7 May 2018

Mussel of the Month

The May 2018 Mussel of the Month is Mycetopodella falcata. Mycetopodella is a monotypic genus found in the upper Amazon and Orinoco basins of northern South America.

BMNH 1868.4.3.6. Streams near Challavitas [Peru], upper Amazon Basin. (type).

We don’t have much to say about Mycetopodella. It has been nearly universally recognized as monotypic (i.e., M. falcata), in the same subfamily with the genus Mycetopoda (Parodiz & Bonetto, 1963; Graf & Cummings, 2007; Pereira et al., 2014). Haas (1916) described a single synonym based on a single specimen (M. boliveri), but no one seems to have been confused by it.

However, this widespread agreement over the last century resulted largely from a lack of contrary opinions rather than any kind of assent based on convincing evidence. Marshall (1927) described the genus as distinct from Mycetopoda largely to highlight the similarity of M. falcata with Solenaia of southeast Asia. It has never been included in a phylogenetic analysis (that we know of).


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily ETHERIOIDEA Deshayes, 1830
Family MYCETOPODIDAE Gray, 1840
Subfamily MYCETOPODINAE s.s.

Genus Mycetopodella Marshall, 1927

Species Mycetopodella falcata (Higgins, 1868)

To find out more about Mycetopodella and South American freshwater mussels, check out:
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