Mussel of the

Page last updated
5 June 2019

Mussel of the Month

The June 2019 Mussel of the Month is Cambarunio iris. Cambarunio is a genus of seven species and widely distributed in eastern North America.

USNM 86035. Cincinnati, Ohio (type of Unio iris Lea, 1829).

Cambarunio iris is the freshwater mussel species that we used to call Villosa iris. As we started explaining last April, Watters (2018) substantially revised the species and genera of the mussel formerly called Villosa, Ligumia, and Venustaconcha. Where we recently had 23 species in three genera (Williams et al., 2017), we now have 27 in seven genera: those three, plus Cambarunio, Leaunio, Paetulunio, and Sagittunio. We have been using this venue to work our way through those new genera, and we have made it to Cambarunio.

In addition to keeping up-to-date on the freshwater mussel genera of North America, KSC recently presented our latest update on the freshwater mussels of Mexico at the biennial symposium of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society. And, our six chapters in Freshwater Mollusks — A Distribution Atlas (edited by Lydeard and Cummings) was finally published. It has been a busy spring!


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily UNIONOIDEA Rafinesque, 1820
Family UNIONIDAE s.s
Subfamily AMBLEMINAE Rafinesque, 1820
Tribe LAMPSILINI Ihering, 1901

Genus Cambarunio Watters, 2018

Species Cambarunio iris (Lea, 1829)

To find out more about Cambarunio and the classification of Villosa sensu lato, check out:
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