Speckled Pocketbook

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To learn more about the life cycle and reproduction of mussels, click here.
For an interactive version, click here.

View the 1992 Speckled Pocketbook Recovery Plan and the 5-year Review (2015)

Learn about how the Speckled Pocketbook is protected by the Upper Little Red River Safe Harbor Agreement.

Speckled Pocketbook (Lampsilis streckeri)
Status: Endangered
February 28, 1989

For questions regarding the Speckled Pocketbook, please contact Chris Davidson at chris_davidson@fws.gov or 501-513-4481.

Species Facts:
The speckled pocketbook is a medium-sized (appx. 3 inches in length) freshwater mussel with a thin, dark-yellow or brown shell with chevron-like spots, and chain-like rays.

The reproductive cycle of the winged mapleleaf is similar to that of other native freshwater mussels. Females retain fertilized eggs in their gills until the larvae (glochidia) fully develop. The glochidia are released into the water, and attach to the appropriate species of host fish, which they parasitize for a short time while they develop into juvenile mussels. Recent studies have shown that the Speckled Pocketbook can use all sunfish (Centrarchidae) as hosts, with greatest success with the green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)

Habitat Summary:
Suitable habitat occurs in pools and runs with small to large boulders which have some accumulation of sand/gravel. Individuals are typically located in crevices between boulders or underneath perched boulders.

Historically, populations only occurred in the Archey, Middle, and South Forks of the Little Red River, Van Buren County, Arkansas (Clarke 1987, USFWS 1991). At the time of listing, the Middle Fork contained the only known population. Recently, extant populations have been discovered in the South Fork, Archey Fork, Turkey Fork, Beech Fork, and Big Creek. In total, four populations have been added since the species was listed, occupying 102 river miles.

Why is it Endangered?
The primary reasons for the decline of the speckled pocketbook are impoundments and channel modification. The speckled pocketbook once occured in the stretch of the Little Red River now impounded by Greers Ferry Reservoir and in the area downstream of the reservoir that is now altered by cold water discharges; the conditions caused by the Reservoir undoubltedly eliminated all populations in this stretch of river. Archey and South Forks of the Little Red River have also been modified for flood control, which is the likely cause of the species' disappearance from these tributaries. Additionally, the small population below the confluence with Archey Fork was apparently exterpated by floods scouring the mussels habitat, caused by increased water velocity from channel modification upstream. Remaining habitat is limited by low or non-existant water flow during dry months.

Additionally, the population is so small that isolated gene pools are likely, and loss of genetic variability increases susceptibility to environmental disturbance. Other threats affecting all freshwater mussels are sedimentation, chemical and nutrient contaminants, and habitat disturbance/destruction.

The speckled pocketbook seems to be stable, and some populations are increasing.

The rangewide Upper Little Red River Safe Harbor Agreement (ULRR SHA) was signed in 2007 by the AES, AGFC, NRCS, and TNC. Safe Harbor Agreements help protect listed species by assisting landowners with voluntary conservation projects on private lands.

Read more in the Speckled Pocketbook Recovery Plan (1992) and the 5-year Review (2015).

Range in Arkansas:

Arkansas Field Office
110 S. Amity Road
Suite 300
Conway, AR 72032

501/513 4470 (v)
501/513 4480 (f)

Last Updated: December 30, 2015

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