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Rayed Bean and Snuffbox Mussels

Determination of Endangered Status for the Rayed Bean and Snuffbox Mussels Throughout Their Ranges

 

Below are the beginning sections of the Final Rule. Click here to download a 34-page PDF (280KB) file of the complete Federal Register Final Rule to List the Rayed Bean and Snuffbox as Endangered.

 

 

Billing Code 4310–55–P

 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS–R3–ES–2010–0019]

[4500030113]

RIN 1018–AV96

 

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered Status for the Rayed Bean and Snuffbox Mussels Throughout Their Ranges

 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

 

ACTION: Final rule.

 

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine endangered status for the rayed bean (Villosa fabalis) and snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra) mussels throughout their ranges, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

 

DATES: This rule becomes effective on March 15, 2012.

 

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS–R3–ES–2010–0019. Comments and materials received, as well as supporting documentation used in preparing this final rule are available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbus Ecological Services Field Office, 4625 Morse Road, Suite 104, Columbus, OH 43230; phone 614-416-8993; facsimile 614-416-8994.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Boyer, Endangered Species Coordinator, Columbus Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). If you use a telecommunications devise for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This document is a final rule to list as endangered the rayed bean (Villosa fabalis) and snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra).

 

Previous Federal Action
Federal actions for these species prior to November 2, 2010, are outlined in our proposed rule for these actions (75 FR 67552). Publication of the proposed rule opened a 60-day comment period, which ended on January 3, 2011.

 

Species Information

Rayed Bean

The rayed bean is a small mussel, usually less than 1.5 inches (in) (3.8 centimeters (cm)) in length (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142; Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 244; West et al. 2000, p. 248). The shell outline is elongate or ovate in males and elliptical in females, and moderately inflated in both sexes, but more so in females (Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 244). The valves are thick and solid. The anterior end is rounded in females and bluntly pointed in males (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142). Females are generally smaller than males Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 244). Dorsally, the shell margin is straight, while the ventral margin is straight to slightly curved (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142). The beaks are slightly elevated above the hingeline (West et al. 2000, p. 248), with sculpture consisting of double loops with some nodules (Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 244). No posterior ridge is evident. Surface texture is smooth and sub-shiny, and green, yellowish-green, or brown in color, with numerous, wavy, dark-green rays of various widths (sometimes obscure in older, blackened specimens) (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142; West et al. 2000, p. 248). Internally, the left valve has two pseudocardinal teeth (tooth-like structures along the hingeline of the internal portion of the shell) that are triangular, relatively heavy, and large, and two short, heavy lateral teeth (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142). The right valve has a low, triangular pseudocardinal tooth, with possibly smaller secondary teeth anteriorly and posteriorly, and a short, heavy, and somewhat elevated lateral tooth (Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 244). The color of the nacre (mother-of-pearl) is silvery white or bluish and iridescent posteriorly. Key characters useful for distinguishing the rayed bean from other mussels are its small size, thick valves, unusually heavy teeth for a small mussel, and color pattern (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142).

 

Snuffbox

The snuffbox is a small- to medium-sized mussel, with males reaching up to 2.8 in (7.0 cm) in length (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 162; Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 108). The maximum length of females is about 1.8 in (4.5 cm) (Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 108). The shape of the shell is somewhat triangular (females), oblong, or ovate (males), with the valves solid, thick, and very inflated. The beaks are located somewhat anterior of the middle, and are swollen, turned forward and inward, and extended above the hingeline (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 162). Beak sculpture consists of three or four faint, double-looped bars (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 162; Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 108). The anterior end of the shell is rounded, and the posterior end is truncated, highly so in females. The posterior ridge is prominent, being high and rounded, while the posterior slope is widely flattened. The posterior ridge and slope in females is covered with fine ridges and grooves, and the posterioventral shell edge is finely toothed (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 162). When females are viewed from a dorsal or ventral perspective, the convergence of the two valves on the posterior slope is nearly straight due to being highly inflated. This gives the female snuffbox a unique, broadly lanceolate or cordate perspective when viewed at the substrate and water column interface (Ortmann 1919, p. 329; van der Schalie 1932, p. 104). The ventral margin is slightly rounded in males and nearly straight in females. Females have recurved denticles (downward curved tooth-like structures) on the posterior shell margin that aid in holding host fish (Barnhart 2008, p. 1). The periostracum (external shell surface) is generally smooth and yellowish or yellowish-green in young individuals, becoming darker with age. Green, squarish, triangular, or chevron-shaped marks cover the umbone (the inflated area of the shell along the dorsal margin), but become poorly delineated stripes with age. Internally, the left valve has two high, thin, triangular, emarginate pseudocardinal teeth (the front tooth being thinner than the back tooth) and two short, strong, slightly curved, and finely striated lateral teeth. The right valve has a high, triangular pseudocardinal tooth with a single short, erect, and heavy lateral tooth. The interdentum (a flattened area between the pseudocardinal and lateral teeth) is absent, and the beak cavity is wide and deep. The color of the nacre is white, often with a silvery luster, and a gray-blue or graygreen tinge in the beak cavity. The soft anatomy was described by Oesch (1984, pp. 233–234) and Williams et al. (2008, p. 282). Key characters useful for distinguishing the snuffbox from other species include its unique color pattern, shape (especially in females), and high degree of inflation.

 

Above are the beginning sections of the Final Rule. Click here to download a 34-page PDF (280KB) file of the complete Federal Register Final Rule to List the Rayed Bean and Snuffbox as Endangered.

 


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Last updated: July 16, 2014