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Southeastern Mussels

The species profiles below are a one-stop-shop for information about the mussel that the Southeast region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for protecting and/or recovering.

Seven small brownish-yellow mussels held in open hands by a biologist.

Atlantic pigtoe

The Atlantic pigtoe is a small freshwater clam found in Virginia, North Carolina, and historically in South Carolina and Georgia. Visit the species profile...

Atlantic pigtoes ready for release. Photo by USFWS.

A small black mussel with brownish yellow striations extends a small white appendage from its shell

Cumberland bean

The Cumberland bean is a small mussel found in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. It is protected as an endangered species and can be found in river systems within the Cumberland River and Tennessee River drainages. Visit the species profile...

Cumberland bean juveniles reared at the Center for Mollusk Conservation in Frankfort, Kentucky. Photo by Monte McGregor, Center Mollusk Conservation, Kentucky DFWR.

Three brownish yellow mussels the smallest of which has a small white protrusion which the mussel uses to attach to a rock.

Fanshell

The fanshell is a green and yellow, medium sized mussel found in various rivers in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. It is protected as an endangered species. Visit the species profile...

Photo by Monte McGregor, Center Mollusk Conservation, Kentucky DFWR.

A brownish yellow mussel shell with white abrasions

Littlewing pearlymussel

The littlewing pearlymussel is a very small mussel found in cool-water streams in the Tennessee and Cumberland River basins in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. It is protected as an endangered species. Visit the species profile...

Photo by Monte McGregor, Center Mollusk Conservation, Kentucky DFWR.

A brown mussel with orangish brown striations

Orangefoot pimpleback

The orangefoot pimpleback is a mussel found in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee rivers. Visit the species profile...

An orangefoot pimpleback mussel. Photo by Monte McGregor, Center Mollusk Conservation, Kentucky DFWR.

A close up photo of a yellow mussel shell

Rough pigtoe

The rough pigtoe is a medium sized mussel, dark to yellowish brown in color, that is native to the Ohio River system. It is found in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia, with experimental populations in Tennessee, and is protected as an endangered species. Visit the species profile...

Adult rough pigtoe in the Green River in Kentucky. Photo by Monte McGregor, Center Mollusk Conservation, Kentucky DFWR.

Two dark gray mussels with striations on a red towel next to a ruler for scale.

Suwanee moccasinshell

The Suwannee moccasinshell is a small freshwater mussel that rarely exceeds 2 inches in length found only in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia. Visit the species profile...

Suwannee moccasinshells. Photo by USFWS.

Three tiny orange mussels with short pointy protruberances.

Tar River spinymussel

The Tar River spinymussel is one of only three freshwater mussels with spines in the world. A federally-endangered freshwater mussel and a North Carolina endemic species. Visit the species profile...

Tar River spinymussels. Photo by Chris Eads, NC State University.

A group of about a dozen small triangular shellfish in shallow water.

Yellow lance

The Yellow lance is a freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusk in the family Unionidae, the river mussels. Visit the species profile...

Yellow lance in the Tar River in North Carolina. Photo by Sarah McRae, USFWS.

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