© 2020 Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Within each reach, a monitoring site is selected to gauge success and develop a baseline of our overall recovery efforts. The general public just thinks ‘Oh, we have a few clams in the river.’ Providing the app will help people learn about the differences between species and learn about them and about conserving the waterways in which they inhabit.”, Featured Image:  Canadian freshwater mussels (Mucket, mapleleaf, pimpleback, deertoe, threeridge and fragile papershell mussels), Photo courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. These mussels look similar to the … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Freshwater mussels are mollusks and are similar to their marine clam and oyster cousins. Over several weeks, it begins to develop gills, a foot, and other internal structures to become a juvenile mussel. >80 species 71–80 species 61–70 species 51–60 species 41–50 species 31–40 species 21–30 species 11–20 species 1–10 … Margaritiferidae is a small family with only five species found on this continent, one of which occurs in Maine. Common Freshwater Mussel Species. The now fully transformed, but still microscopic, juvenile will drop off the fish and begin its life on the stream bottom. Additionally, there are 30 species of freshwater mussel … The substrate allows the mussels to burrow, feed, and respire. This mantle is also the part of the body that secretes the two valves of the shell. The difference would be there would be some species in the U.S. that don’t occur in Canada.”. When settlers first arrived on these shores, they were astonished to discover rivers practically paved in freshwater mussels. Although freshwater mussels are found throughout much of the world, they reach their greatest diversity in North America. In 2012, Todd Morris and his lab developed the Canadian Freshwater Mussel Guide. Numbering in the 100’s to hundreds of thousands, the fertilized eggs develop into glochidia within her gills. There are over 300 species of freshwater mussels native to North America — more mussel species than anywhere else in the world! Native Americans used mussels as a ready food source, implements for tools, and as jewelry. Thousands of juvenile mussels ranging in ages from one month to nine years old have been raised at the AWCC. Learn about Endangered Freshwater Mussels in Ohio . "Of nearly 300 recorded species of freshwater mussels in the United States, approximately 130 are or were known to occur within the political boundaries of Tennessee. The app has origins with a lot fewer cutesy illustrations and simple interactive questions. The app is focused on native mussels, so it doesn’t address the issue of invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels, though it does contain some information about the threat that zebra mussels pose to native mussels. “In the last year or so we’ve had 45 different reports come in of species and location,” Morris said. They are invertebrate animals with soft, unsegmented bodies. Of the 297 known species and subspecies of freshwater mussels in North America, 213 are listed as either endangered, threatened, or of special concern. You can call them clams or mussels, the names are interchangable, but they should also be called endangered. But the app also benefits Morris and his team in their research by helping them get more sampling and more accurate distribution data than they would be able to on their own. It’s an app from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in partnership with the Toronto Zoo made to help children, families and everyday people learn about, identify and report sightings of native freshwater mussels. Mollusks are a group that includes snails, slugs and mussel. Two-thirds of North American freshwater mussel species are endangered so that is the work I do on a regular basis, it all pertains to species at risk,” Morris said. You can still use all of the identification keys for species in the U.S., you would just not limit it geographically. The valves, which are held together by an elastic-like hinge, have the ability to be closed by two strong adductor muscles whenever the animal senses a threat. White heelsplitter (Lasmigona complanata) 4. Their shells are used to make numerous round beads that are placed in oysters and serve as the nuclei for freshwater pearls. “It’s an information tool, to get that information out to the general public, to increase the awareness,” Morris said. Plain pocketbook (Lampsillis caridum) 2. I want to ID a mussel I saw last week. Freshwater mussels are one of the most imperiled groups of animals in the United States. While these techniques are known for a few species, many more require additional research before laboratory cultivation is possible. In fact, North America has the richest freshwater mussel fauna in the world. The freshwater bivalves of the state of Maryland are represented by one introduced unionid species and historically by 17 native unionid species in the Chesapeake Bay Basin and by at least 22 species prehistorically in the Monongahela River Basin. When settlers first arrived on these shores, they were astonished to discover rivers practically paved in freshwater mussels. Most have hard, external shells. 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