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Eastern Lampmussel (Lampsilis radiata radiata)

musselPhotograph courtesy of E. Nedeau

NH Conservation Status: Not listed

 

NH State Rank Status: Apparently secure (global – secure)

 

Distribution: Coastal watershed and the Lower Connecticut and Merrimack River watersheds. See which watersheds and/or waterbodies PDF Document the species has been documented.

 

Description: A medium sized to large mussel reaching 5 inches in length. The shell color varies from yellowish-green to brownish-black. Often numerous green rays on shell. The inner shell (nacre) is white or bluish-white. The shell of the eastern lampmussel is thick, especially when compared to the floaters.

 

Commonly Confused Species: Eastern elliptio

 

Habitat: Sandy and gravely substrates of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. Mainly found in cool or warmwater habitats; rarely found in small coldwater streams where eastern pearlshell more likely.

 

Life History: Uses a variety of host fish including large and small-mouth bass, yellow perch, sunfish, and crappie.

 

Conservation Threats: Species is secure. No known major threats known although more data is needed to assess.

 

Eastern Lampmussel

Shell of an eastern lampmussel ( inner view). Photo by E. Nedeau.

 

 eastern lampmussel

A sample of eastern lampmussel shells. Photo by M. Marchand.