Mussel of the

Page last updated
28 December 2007

MUSSELp Evolution

This page describes the previous classification used on this web site. Progress has marched forward, and we have updated our web site to reflect current thinking. The currently applied classification can be found by clicking here.

Family-Group Level Classification of the Unionoida

The following classification of the Unionoida is the one that we use on this website. Within the Unionidae, certain geographical assemblages in Mesoamerica, Europe, SW Asia, SE Asia and Africa cannot be placed with the same degree of certainty possible for Nearctic genera. Further, we also have included some informal group names for clades/lineages lacking formal names (i.e., the Amblemini Tribe Group, the Hyriini Tribe Group and the lasidium-bearing freshwater mussels). The classification is simply too dense to add more ranks.

The top half of this page presents the Linnaean classification of the Unionoida as text. Taxa at the same rank are listed in alphabetical order except that the type-subtaxon is always listed first. More information about the diversity and distributions of these taxa can be found on this web site under the Unionoida cum Grano Salis project or in our publication:

  • Graf, D.L. & K.S. Cummings. 2007. Review of the systematics and global diversity of freshwater mussel species (Bivalvia: Unionoida). Journal of Mollusca Studies 73: 291-314.
  • Superfamily UNIONOIDEA Rafinesque, 1820
    • Family UNIONIDAE s.s.
      • Subfamily UNIONINAE s.s.
        • Tribe UNIONINI s.s.
        • Tribe ANODONTINI Rafinesque, 1820
      • Subfamily AMBLEMINAE Rafinesque, 1820
        • the Amblemini Tribe group
          • Tribe AMBLEMINI s.s.
          • Tribe LAMPSILINI von Ihering, 1901
          • Tribe PLEUROBEMINI Hannibal, 1912
          • Tribe QUADRULINI von Ihering, 1901
        • Tribe GONIDEINI Ortmann, 1916
        • incertae sedis Mesoamerican amblemines
      • incertae sedis Old World unionids
    • Family MARGARITIFERIDAE Haas, 1940
  • Superfamily ETHERIOIDEA Deshayes, 1830
    • Family HYRIIDAE Swainson, 1840
      • Subfamily HYRIIINAE s.s.
        • the HYRIINI Tribe group
          • Tribe HYRIINI s.s.
          • Tribe CASTALIINI Parodiz & Bonetto, 1963
          • Tribe RHIPIDODONTINI Starobogatov, 1970
        • Tribe HYRIDELLINI McMichael, 1956 (1934)
      • Subfamily VELESUNIONINAE Iredale, 1934
    • the lasidium-bearing freshwater mussels
      • Family ETHERIIDAE s.s.
      • Family MYCETOPODIDAE Gray, 1840
        • Subfamily MYCETOPODINAE s.s.
        • Subfamily ANODONTITINAE Modell, 1942
        • Subfamily LEILINAE Lange de Morretes, 1949
        • Subfamily MONOCONDYLAEINAE Modell, 1942
      • Family IRIDINIDAE Swainson, 1840
        • Subfamily IRIDININAE s.s.
        • Subfamily ASPATHARIINAE Modell, 1942

This textual representation of the classification of the Unioinoida can also be depicted as a cladogram, shown below.

This cladogram was derived from a number of sources, including our own phylogenetic analyses of molecular and morphological characters. More information can be found on this web site (under construction) and from our publication:

  • Graf, D.L. & K.S. Cummings. 2006. Palaeoheterodont Diversity (Mollusca: Trigonioida + Unionoida): what we know and what we wish we knew about freshwater mussel evolution. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 148: 343-394.


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