Classification: Federal and State Endangered
NOTE: Hover over the bold words for definitions or see the Glossary.
This species was decribed by Isaac Lea in 1834. The Appalachian elktoe has a thin, kidney-shaped shell that reaches a maximum length of 117 mm (J. Fridell pers.comm.). The shell periostracum ranges in color from yellowish brown to dark brown. Dark green rays of varying widths occur on some shells. The shell nacre is white to bluish white, changing to a salmon, pinkish or brownish color in the central and beak cavity portions of the shell. The shell has vestigial lateral teeth and has small and compressed pseudocardinal teeth.
The Appalachian elktoe inhabits relatively shallow, medium-sized creeks and rivers with cool, well-oxygenated and moderate-to fast-flowing water. It has been observed in a variety of substrate types including gravel mixed with cobble and boulders; in cracks in bedrock; and occasionally in relatively silt-free, coarse sand.
General Life History For Mussels