FWS Focus


The Yellow Lance is a bright yellow elongate mussel with a shell over twice as long as tall, usually not more than 86mm (3.4 inches) in length. Its periostracum usually has a waxy appearance with brownish growth rests and rarely ever has rays (Alderman 2003, p.6). The interior nacre is usually an iridescent blue color, and usually has white or salmon color on the anterior half of the shell (Lea 1832, p.8). The posterior ridge is distinctly rounded and curves dorsally toward the posterior end (Lea 1828, p.266). The lateral teeth are long, with two in the left valve and one in the right valve; each valve has two psuedocardinal teeth, with the posterior one on the left valve and the anterior one on the right valve being vestigial (Lea 1832, p.8).

Scientific Name

Elliptio lanceolata
Common Name
yellow lance
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



Launch Interactive Map


Explore the information available for this taxon's timeline. You can select an event on the timeline to view more information, or cycle through the content available in the carousel below.

8 Items