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.
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 is a picture of Brook Floater (Alasmidonta vericosa). Photo by Dave Strayer, Freshwater Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook New York.
Jay Cordeiro, NatureServe and AMNH
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, ENSP
New Jersey Fish and Wildlife
Adapted by Jeanette Bowers-Altman
from the Workshop on Freshwater Bivalves in Pennsylvania
by Arthur E. Bogan
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences
Cal Snyder, CBC/AMNH
Michael J. Davenport,
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey
Elizabeth Johnson, CBC/AMNH
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
Thanks to the staff of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology,
American Museum of Natural History
Overview of freshwater mussel biology and diversity.
Easy and accurate use of this handbook relies on a familiarity with mussel shell features.
A list of species of Freshwater Mussels of the New York Metro Area and New Jersey
Key to the Freshwater Mussels of the New York Metro Area and New Jersey
Conservation: Status and Threats
An overview of current threats to mussel populations
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.
A list of key terms used in this handbook to describe mussel structure, classification, biology, and life history.
Print and web references on freshwater mussel identification.