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The reproductive biology and glochidial shell morphology of three federally endangered freshwater mussels, the fat threeridge, Amblema neislerii; Gulf moccasinshell, Medionidus penicillatus; and oval pigtoe, Pleurobema pyriforme; and one federally threatened mussel, the purple bankclimber, Elliptoideus sloatianus, were studied from May 1995 to June 1997 in the Apalachicola, Flint, and Ochlockonee river drainages of Florida and Georgia. Gravid A. neislerii were found in early June. Laboratory experiments indicated that five fish species served as hosts: weed shiner, Notropis texanus; bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus; redear sunfish, L. microlophus; largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides; and blackbanded darter, Percina nigrofasciata. Elliptoideus sloatianus were found gravid from late February through mid-April. None of the 14 fish species exposed to E. sloatianus glochidia resulted in the identification of a primary host fish. Medionidus penicillatus were found gravid during September, November, March, and April. The brown darter, Etheostoma edwini, and blackbanded darter, Percina nigrofasciata, were identified as primary host fishes for M. penicillatus. Pleurobema pyriforme were found gravid from March through July. Only the sailfin shiner, Pleronotropis hypsehpterus, was identified as a primary host fish for P. pyriforme. Glochidial shell morphology of A. neislerii, M. penicillatus, and P. pyriforme were similar to other species in their respective genera. The glochidia of the monotypic species E. sloatianus were morphologically most similar to Epioblasma brevidens and E. capsaeformis.
Additional Publication Details
Reproductive biology of four freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) endemic to eastern Gulf Coastal Plain drainages of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia