Glochidia of the endangered unionid mussel Lampsilis higginsi (Lea) are morphologically similar to those of several other species in the upper Mississippi River. Life history details, such as the timing of reproduction and identity of host fish, can be readily studied if the glochidia of L. higginsi can be distinguished from those of related species. Authors used light and scanning electron microscopy and statistical analyses of three shell measurements, shell length, shell height, and hinge length, to compare the glochidia of L. higginsi with those of L. radiata siliquoidea (Barnes), L. ventricosa (Barnes), and Ligumia recta (Lamarck). Glochidia of L. higginsi were differentiated by scanning electron microscopy on the basis of a combined examination of the position of the hinge ligament and the width of dorsal ridges, but were indistinguishable by light microscope examination or by statistical analyses of measurements.
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Morphology of glochidia of Lampsilis higginsi (Bivalvia: Unionidae) compared with three related species