Mussel of the

Page last updated
5 October 2023

Mussel of the Month

The February 2019 Mussel of the Month is Monodontina vondembuschiana. Monodontina is a genus of four species from southeastern Asia, from Indochina to the Sunda Islands.

[Since Bolotov et al. (2023), Monodontina has been considered a junior synonym of Pseudodon. This mussel now goes by Pseudodon vondembuschianus. — DLG, 5 October 2023.]

USNM 86348. Java [Indonesia] (type).

Monodontina vondembuschiana is the type species of the recently recognized genus, Monodontina. M. vondembuschiana has traditionally been classified as a Pseudodon (Zieritz et al., 2018), but that genus has been blown-up by the phylogenetic work of Bolotov et al. (2017).

In our global checklist (Graf & Cummings, 2007), we divided the almost two dozen species of Pseudodon among nine subgenera. There were only a handful genera that caused us to worry about subgenera back then — Alasmidonta, Arcidens, Lasmigona, Parreysia, Pseudodon, Prisodon, and Hyridella. These were generally taxa with many species and either some suggestion that they might be excessively lumped or just in need of clarification how the taxonomy we followed corresponded to other classifications. Some of those lumpings have been rectified, such as Prisodon sensu latu (= Prisodon sensu stricto and Triplodon), Parreysia s.l. (= Parreysia s.s., Leoparreysia, Indonaia, and Radiatula), and Pseudodon s.l.

The former species of Pseudodon s.l. are now split among Pseudodon s.s., Monodontina, and Bineurus based on the non-monophyly of the old genus (Bolotov et al., 2017). Either Pseudodon needed to be broken up or the species of Pilsbryoconcha had to be folded in. So, where there were two genera, we now have four. The phylogenetic relationships among the other six subgenera of Pseudodon have yet to be fully explored.


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily UNIONOIDEA Rafinesque, 1820
Family UNIONIDAE s.s
Subfamily GONIDEINAE Ortmann, 1916
Tribe PSEUDODONTINI Frierson, 1927

Genus Monodontina Conrad, 1853

Species Monodontina vondembuschiana (Lea, 1840)

To find out more about the Monodontina and recent revisions to Asian freshwater mussels, check out:
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