Freshwater Mussels of the New York Metropolitan Region and New Jersey: A Guide to their Identification, Biology, and Conservation

The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) has developed this web handbook as a "short-course" to the freshwater mussels occurring within 75 miles of New York City and throughout New Jersey. It is designed for naturalists, biologists, and resource managers working to conserve local freshwater ecosystems. The handbook includes a section on mussel morphology, a photo illustrated guide to 17 species, a key, habitat guide, glossary, bibliography of print and web resources, and essays on freshwater mussel taxonomy, biology, ecology, threats, conservation, and study methods, including a guide to local regulations. Information on this site is based on current knowledge, and is provided in the hope of encouraging and enabling further work on our local fauna.

Acknowledgments:

The handbook is a collaborative project, with contributions from various organizations and individuals. It is based on a workshop hosted at AMNH by the Metropolitan Biodiversity Program and taught by Jay Cordeiro from NatureServe, and David Strayer of the Institute for Ecosystem Studies, and is published by the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History.

Banner Image

Banner image is a picture of Brook Floater (Alasmidonta vericosa). Photo by Dave Strayer, Freshwater Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook New York.

Principal Author

Jay Cordeiro, NatureServe and AMNH
NatureServe

Contributing Authors

Jeanette Bowers-Altman,
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, ENSP
New Jersey Fish and Wildlife

Key

Adapted by Jeanette Bowers-Altman
from the Workshop on Freshwater Bivalves in Pennsylvania
by Arthur E. Bogan
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences 

Editor

Elizabeth Cornell

Specimen photographer

Cal Snyder, CBC/AMNH

Maps

Michael J. Davenport,
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey

Project oversight

Elizabeth Johnson, CBC/AMNH

Special thanks to our reviewer

Art Bogan, North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences
Rick Dutko, New Jersey Natural Heritage Program
Betsy Ray, Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory
George Schuler, The Nature Conservancy
David Strayer, Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Specimens: AMNH

Thanks to the staff of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology,
American Museum of Natural History

Introduction

Article

Introduction

Overview of freshwater mussel biology and diversity.

Mussel Features

Article

Mussel Features

Easy and accurate use of this handbook relies on a familiarity with mussel shell features.

Mussel Species

Article

Mussel Species

A list of species of Freshwater Mussels of the New York Metro Area and New Jersey

Conservation and Study

Article

Conservation and Study

Conservation: Status and Threats

An overview of current threats to mussel populations

Habitats

Article

Habitats

Images of local mussel habitats are shown by general type- lakes, ponds, and rivers. Each locality is identified, and species known to be present are listed as links to their species accounts.

Glossary

Article

Glossary

A list of key terms used in this handbook to describe mussel structure, classification, biology, and life history.

Bilbiography

Reference List

Bilbiography

Print and web references on freshwater mussel identification.