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New Louisiana records for freshwater mussels (Unionidae) and a snail (Pleuroceridae).

Freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) and snails (Gastropoda: Viviparidae and Pleuroceridae) are often illusive and difficult to discover even with years of search. Louisiana has been searched for mussels for more than 100 years (Vidrine, 1985; 1993), and it possesses a relatively diverse fauna. During a fish survey in Bayou Bartholomew, the senior author discovered a large mussel bed in the river. The water level in the river remained high all summer, in 1992, but September and October provided a low water period convenient for a rather extensive search for freshwater mollusks. The Louisiana portion of Bayou Bartholomew had apparently never been searched extensively for freshwater mussels and snails.

Bayou Bartholomew, a tributary of the Ouachita River, drains a relatively large area of southeastern Arkansas and most of a single parish, Morehouse Parish, in northern Louisiana. The system drains an intensively farmed area, in which cotton is a major crop. Portions of the Bartholomew drainage in Arkansas were studied by Gordon et al. (1980). Species reported were: Megalonaias nervosa (Rafinesque, 1820), Amblema plicata (Say, 1817), Plectomerus dombeyanus (Valenciennes, 1827), Pleurobema pyramidatum (Lea, 1840), Pyganodon grandis (Say, 1829), Obliquaria reflexa Rafinesque, 1820, Obovaria olivaria (Rafinesque, 1820), Leptodea fragilis (Rafinesque, 1820), Potamilus purpuratus (Lamarck, 1819), Lampsilis teres (Rafinesque, 1820), Lampsilis siliquoidea (Barnes, 1823), and Lampsilis hydiana (Lea, 1838). The only records from Bayou Bartholomew in the state of Louisiana known to the authors were those of Moore (1909) and Vanatta (1910). Moore (1909) reported three species from Indian middens: P. purpuratus, L. teres (a small vessel), and M. nervosa (a shell hoe). The first was from Keno Plantation, while the latter two were from Ward Place. Both locations are within Morehouse Parish. Vanatta (1910) reported P. dombeyanus at Seven Pine Landing on Bayou Bartholomew in Morehouse Parish.

Hand searching for freshwater mussels and snails was primarily done in a 6.0 km stretch of Bayou Bartholomew extending from the western edge of Chemin A Haut State Park downstream to approximately 1.5 km downstream from the intersection of the bayou with Rte. U.S. 425, north of Log Cabin, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana. Further searching was done approximately 15 river km upstream and downstream. Mussels were relatively scarce at these upstream and downstream localities, so collecting was concentrated in the 6.0 km stretch. Mussels were aggregated in beds among gravel riffle zones and mud/sand zones, and snails were commonly dispersed among the mussels.

We employ the mussel and snail names of the most recent fisheries list for North America (Turgeon et al., 1988), with the exception that the genus Pyganodon as resurrected by Hoeh (1990) is used in place of Anodonta. Voucher specimens of the mussel species and Pleurocera canaliculata (Say, 1821) were deposited in the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, MS. The mollusk specimens were identified by the authors and verified by Paul Hartfield (Endangered Species Office, Jackson, MS) and John Harris (Highway and Transportation Department, Little Rock, AR).

Twenty-nine species of freshwater mussels were found in this portion of Bayou Bartholomew. Five species are reported for the first time in Louisiana and three species are recorded for only the second time in Louisiana. The five new state records are: Lampsilis abrupta (Say, 1831), Lampsilis cardium (Rafinesque, 1820), Lampsilis siliquoidea (Barnes, 1823), Obovaria olivaria (Rafinesque, 1820), and Ptychobranchus occidentalis (Conrad, 1836). Lampsilis abrupta is a federally listed endangered species (USFWS, 1982). Three species, Quadrula cylindrica cylindica (Say, 1817), Quadrula metanevra (Rafinesque, 1820), and Ellipsaria lineolata (Rafinesque, 1820), have not been reported in Louisiana since 1910 (Vanatta, 1910) and are new records for Bayou Bartholomew. All of the species found are listed in Table 1 with annotation regarding the new and repeat state records. Corbicula fluminea (Mueller) (Bivalvia: Corbiculidae), an introduced Asian clam, was common in this portion of Bayou Bartholomew.

Three species of large snails were found among the mussels in the 6.0 km section of Bayou Bartholomew: Campeloma decisum (Say, 1816), Viviparus subpurpureus (Say, 1829), and P. canaliculata. No records of pleurocerid snails from the state of Louisiana were known (Burch, 1989). Thus, the P. canaliculata is a new state record for the species and the family.

Varied sized lots of the different mussels, Corbicula, and snails (212 specimens, 32 species) were searched for parasitic mites (Acari: Unionicolidae: Unionicola and Najadicolinae: Najadicola). No mites were found in the specimens. The numbers of individual specimens searched are listed in Table 1. Typically a diverse community of freshwater mussels has approximately 60.0% of its mussels infested with mites (Vidrine, 1989; 1990; Vidrine and Wilson, 1991). We do not know why mites are absent at this locality, but their absence may be linked to agricultural chemicals used in the intensive cotton farming in the drainage.

The mussel and snail assemblage of Bayou Bartholomew at this station closely resembles that described for the Saline River in Arkansas (Gordon 1981; Harris and Gordon, 1987; 1990), and may indicate that Bayou Bartholomew represents, zoogeographically, the southern tip of the Ozarkian subprovince of the Mississippi Interior Basin. Bayou Bartholomew is the host for a possible relict community of freshwater mussels and snails. We suggest that this river and indeed all of northeastern Louisiana receive intensive survey to disclose the biotic diversity in this area.
TABLE 1. Freshwater mussels, Corbicula, and snails found in a 6.0 km
stretch of Bayou Bartholomew at Rte. U. S. 425, north of Log Cabin,
Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, September-October 1992. Numbers in
parentheses represent the numbers of specimens examined for parasitic

 Pyganodon grandis (Say, 1829) (1)
 Arcidens confragosus (Say, 1829) (7)
 Amblema plicata (Say, 1817) (7)
 Megalonaias nervosa (Rafinesque, 1820) (8)
 Plectomerus dombeyanus (Valenciennes, 1827) (6)
 * Quadrula cylindrica cylindica (Say, 1817) (3)
 * Quadrula metanevra (Rafinesque, 1820) (12)
 Quadrula pustulosa (Lea, 1831) (17)
 Quadrula quadrula (Rafinesque, 1820) (10)
 Tritogonia verrucosa (Rafinesque, 1820) (8)
 Elliptio dilatata (Rafinesque, 1820) (27)
 Fusconaia ebena (Lea, 1831) (20)
 Fusconaia flava (Rafinesque, 1820) (18)
 Pleurobema pyramidatum (Lea, 1840) (7)
 * Ellipsaria lineolata (Rafinesque, 1820) (1)
 *** Lampsilis abrupta (Say, 1831) (2)
 ** Lampsilis cardium (Rafinesque, 1820) (2)
 Lampsilis hydiana (Lea, 1838) (2)
 Lampsilis satura (Lea, 1852) (4)
 ** Lampsilis siliquoidea (Barnes, 1823) (1)
 Lampsilis teres (Rafinesque, 1820) (6)
 Leptodea fragilis (Rafinesque, 1820) (4)
 Obliquaria reflexa Rafinesque, 1820) (1)
 ** Obovria olivaria (Rafinesque, 1820) (2)
 Potamilus purpuratus (Lamarck, 1819) (4)
 ** Ptychobranchus occidentalis (Conrad, 1836) (5)
 Truncilla donaciformis (Lea, 1828) (0)
 Truncilla truncata Rafinesque, 1820 (5)
 Villosa lienosa (Conrad, 1834) (2)
 Corbicula fluminea (Mueller) (5)
 Campeloma decisum (Say, 1816) (5)
 Viviparus subpurpureus (Say, 1829) (5)
 ** Pleurocera canaliculata (Say, 1821) (5)

* not reported in Louisiana since Moore (1908) and Vanatta (1910)
** new state records (Louisiana)
*** new state record (Louisiana) and federally listed as an endangered

We thank Paul Hartfield and John Harris. Charles Allen and his ecology class (NLU) and Frank Pezold and his limnology class (NLU) assisted in collecting. Special thanks are extended to: Patrick Bergeron, Cindy Cole, Joseph Holt, Brent and Sherry Harrel, Steve Jensen, Allen Morgan, and Jimmy Vining.


Burch, J. B. 1989. North American freshwater snails. Malacological Publications (Hamburg, MI), 365 pp.

Gordon, M. E. 1981. Recent Mollusca of Arkansas with annotations to systematics and zoogeography. Proc. Arkansas Acad. Sci., 34: 58-62.

Gordon, M. E., L. R. Kraemer, and A. V. Brown. 1980. Unionacea of Arkansas: historical review, checklist, and observations on distributional patterns. Bull. Amer. Malacol. Union Inc. for 1979, pp. 31-37.

Harris, J. L., and M. E. Gordon. 1987. Distribution and status of endangered mussels (Mollusca: Margaritiferidae, Unionidae) in Arkansas. Proc. Arkansas Acad. Sci., 41: 49-56.

______. 1990. Arkansas mussels. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas. 32 pp.

Hoeh, W. R. 1990. Phylogenetic relationships among eastern North American Anodonta (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Malacol. Rev. 23 (1-2): 63-82.

Moore, C. B. 1909. Antiquities of the Ouachita Valley. J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 14:1-170.

Turgeon, D. D., A. E. Bogan, E. V. Coan, W. K. Emerson, W. G. Lyons, W. L. Pratt, C. F. E. Roper, A. Scheltema, F. G. Thompson, and J. D. Williams. 1988. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 16:1-277 (Unionoida, pp. 28-34).

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1992. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. 13 pp.

Vanatta, E. G. 1910. Unionidae from southeastern Arkansas and N. E. Louisiana. Nautilus 23: 102-104.

Vidrine, M. F. 1985. Fresh-water mussels (Unionacea) of Louisiana; a zoogeographical checklist of post-1890 records. The Louisiana Environmental Professional 2: 50-59.

______. 1989. A summary of the mollusk-mite associations of Louisiana and adjacent waters. The Louisiana Environmental Professional 6:30-63.

______. 1990. Fresh-water mussel-mite and mussel-Ablabesmyia associations in Village Creek, Hardin County, Texas. Proc. Louisiana Acad. Sci., 53:1-4.

______. 1993. The historical distributions of freshwater mussels in Louisiana. Gail Q. Vidrine Collectables (Eunice, Louisiana). xii + 225 pp. + 20 color plates.

Vidrine, M. F. and J. L. Wilson. 1991. Parasitic mites (Acari: Unionicolidae) of fresh-water mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in the Duck and Stones Rivers in central Tennessee. Nautilus 105:152-158.


Department of Biology, Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe, LA 71209 and Division of Sciences, Louisiana State University at Eunice, P. O. Box 1129, Eunice, LA 70535
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:GENERAL NOTES
Author:George, Steven G.; Vidrine, Malcolm F.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Nov 1, 1993
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