Mussel of the

Page last updated
5 January 2023

Mussel of the Month

The January 2023 Mussel of the Month is Pseudocuneopsis capitatus. Pseudocuneopsis is a genus of two species endemic to the Yangtze Basin in China.

MNHN. Central China (type)

Pseudocuneopsis was described last year to solve the problem of the non-monophyly of Cuneopsis. That genus name has been in use for both Recent and fossil taxa since it was coined by Simpson in 1900. However, once the extant species had been widely sampled for phylogenetic analyses, three separate clades were discovered: Cuneopsis sensu stricto, the monotypic Arcuneopsis, and Pseudocuneopsis.

The three pieces of Cuneopsis sensu lato seem to be relatively consistently recovered in a clade of East Asian Unionini consisting of the three genera listed above plus Nodularia, Schistodesmus, and Inversiunio. That clade, when sufficient taxon sampling allows, has been placed as sister to Unio (Huang et al., 2019; Lopes-Lima et al., 2020; Wu et al., 2022). It could might perhaps be useful to recognize the subtribe Unionina to distinguish that branch from other genera, such as Aculamprotula, Acuticosta, and Lepidodesma.


Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Subclass Palaeoheterodonta
Order Unionoida

Superfamily UNIONOIDEA Rafinesque, 1820
Family UNIONIDAE s.s.
Subfamily UNIONINAE s.s.
Tribe UNIONINI s.s

Genus Pseudocuneopsis Dai, Chen & Wu in Wu et al., 2022

Species Pseudocuneopsis capitatus (Heude, 1874)

To find out more about Pseudomulleria and the phylogeny of the Unionini, check out:

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