Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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Rayed Bean (Villosa fabalis)



The rayed bean is a freshwater mussel that has been extirpated from Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia but is still found in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Ontario, Canada. It is a small mussel, usually less than 1.5 inches long. Generally, it lives in smaller, headwater creeks, but is sometimes found in large rivers and wave-washed areas of glacial lakes. The rayed bean prefers gravel or sand substrates, and is often found in and around roots of aquatic vegetation.

Rayed bean mussel lying in a hand to show size comparison.  Photo by USFWS; Angela Boyer

The rayed bean, a small mussel that only grows to about 1 1/2 inches in length, can no longer be found in much of its historic range in the Midwest and Eastern U.S.

Photo by USFWS; Angela Boyer

Rayed Bean and Snuffbox Mussels Listed as Endangered


News Release (Feb. 13, 2012): U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Freshwater Mussels as Endangered Species


Federal Register Final Rule: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Rayed Bean and Snuffbox as Endangered (Feb. 14, 2012)


Rayed Bean Fact Sheet (Feb. 2012)


Questions and Answers: Rayed Bean and Snuffbox Mussels Listed as Endangered (Feb. 2012)


Status Assessment Report for the rayed bean, Villosa fabalis, occurring in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes systems (September 2002) - - 62-page PDF; 266KB


Information about the Snuffbox



Midwest Endangered Species Home



Last updated: January 17, 2018