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The Ouachita fanshell (Cyprogenia cf. aberti), a freshwater mussel, currently occurs in the Lower Red-Ouachita basin in Arkansas and occurred historically in Louisiana. The Ouachita fanshell is currently an undescribed species, now recognized by species and taxonomic experts as distinct from western fanshell (Cyprogenia aberti).

This species is typically found in large creeks and rivers with good water quality, moderate to swift current and gravel-sand substrates. Like all mussels, the Ouachita fanshell is an omnivore that primarily filter feeds on a wide variety of microscopic particulate matter suspended in the water column, including phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacteria, detritus and dissolved organic matter.

As with most freshwater mussels, Ouachita fanshells have a unique life cycle that relies on fish hosts for successful reproduction. Larval-stage mussels, called glochidia, attach themselves to host fish. Logperch, slenderhead darter and orangebelly darter are host fish for the Ouachita fanshell.

Scientific Name

Cyprogenia sp. cf. aberti
Common Name
Ouachita fanshell
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers




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