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Can you identify these large mussels found in Utah? #159155 - Ask Extension


Can you identify these large mussels found in Utah? #159155

Asked October 31, 2013, 9:49 PM EDT

I found some large mussels in Cutler Reservoir.
I am wondering what they are.

Cache County Utah

Expert Response

Doesn't appear to have the right shape for an invasive zebra or quagga mussel (, thankfully, so it's likely a native. There are only a few native mussels in Utah. I suspect the UDWR would like to know about it.

From Cynthia Tait, Regional Aquatic EcologistU.S. Forest Service, Intermountain Region324 25th Street, Ogden UT 84401 Phone: 801-625-5358 FAX: 801-625-5756

"That’s a ‘floater’, Anodonta sp, a native mussel that is harmless but a great find! Is Cutler on the Bear River system? Anodonta occur in the Bear . Here’s a little map of some of the known occurrences in UT, including Anodonta and Margaritifera, the western pearlshell mussel, which is much rarer. Anodonta like slow water and will bury in the mud and silt. Would you happen to have coordinates for the location of your find? Or a good description? I keep a mussel database for our area."

Utah DWR Mussel Infestation Report (Cutler Marsh is negative as of 9/2013):
Andrew Durso Replied November 01, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT
Yes, Cutler is in the Bear River system. They have the area drained to do some work on Cuter dam. If you take highway 23 North from Wellsville to Newton you will cross a bridge about a mile south of Newton, I found many mussels in the rocks around that bridge. I did not see the link to your map.
The Question Asker Replied November 01, 2013, 12:49 PM EDT
Great, thanks. Sorry the map didn't work. It's attached here. Also from Cynthia:

"The data come from Xerces’ western mussel database plus records from Karen Mock at USU. Also, the mussel you had is Anodonta sp. and not a specific species because the taxonomy for that genus in the west is in flux. Much of the genetics work for the genus was done in Dr. Mock's lab. The ‘Margaritifera’ on the map is M. falcata."
Andrew Durso Replied November 01, 2013, 5:09 PM EDT

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