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Southeastern mussels

The species profiles below are a one-stop-shop for information about the mussels the Service's Southeast region is responsible for protecting and/or recovering.

  • A brown mussel with orangish brown striations
    Information icon An orangefoot pimpleback mussel. Photo by Monte McGregor, Center Mollusk Conservation, Kentucky DFWR.

    Orangefoot pimpleback

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

  • A brown and black mussel with growth striations sitting on a rock.
    Information icon Close-up of endangered mussel from the Ohio River. Photo by Craig Stihler, USFWS.

    Pink mucket

    The Appalachian elktoe has a thin, kidney-shaped shell, extending to about 4 inches. Juveniles generally have a yellowish-brown periostracum (outer shell surface), while the periostracum of the adults is usually dark brown to greenish-black in color.  Visit the species profile...

  • The bright purple interior of two purple cat’s paw mussels on a leaf strewn bank
    Information icon Purple cat’s paw mussels. Photo by USFWS.

    Purple cat’s paw

    The Purple cat’s paw is one of the rarest freshwater mussels and was considered to be on the brink of extinction. It was listed as endangered in 1990 when some live adults were found but were too old to reproduce.  Visit the species profile...

  • A photograph of the outside and inside of a ring pink shell next to a ruler for scale.  Shell is approximately 3 inches wide.
    Information icon Ring pink. Photo by Leroy Koch, USFWS.

    Ring pink

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

  • A close up photo of a yellow mussel shell
    Information icon Adult rough pigtoe in the Green River in Kentucky. Photo by Monte McGregor, Center Mollusk Conservation, Kentucky DFWR.

    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...

  • Two dark gray mussels with striations on a red towel next to a ruler for scale.
    Information icon Suwannee moccasinshells. Photo by USFWS.

    Suwannee 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...

  • Two tan colored mussels with dark striations eminating from their base on rocky substrate
    Information icon Tan riffleshells, male on the left; female on the right. Public domain photo by Dick Biggins.

    Tan riffleshell

    The tan riffleshell (Epioblasma florentina walkeri) is a medium sized freshwater mussel that has been listed under the threatened and endangered species list since 1977. It is a filter feeding mollusc found within isolated populations primarily in Virginia and Tennessee.  Visit the species profile...

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