Scientific Name: Anodonta couperiana

Classification:  State Endangered

Photo Credit: NCWRC




NOTE: Hover over the bold words for definitions or see the Glossary.

This species lacks pseudocardinal and lateral teeth. The umbos of the barrel floater barely extend above the dorsal margin. This is similar to the paper pondshell, Utterbackia imbecillis; however, the barrel floater's height to length ratio is around 2 compared with 1.5 for the paper pondshell. The ventral margin of the barrel floater is broadly rounded and there are fine green rays on the periostracum. The shell may grow to over 100 mm in length.


Shell Anatomy

This species is found from Florida's Apalachicola region to the Cape Fear drainage in North Carolina. It was historically known from the Greenfield Lakes basin near Wilmington (Adams 1990) and Bladen County (Vidrine 1980). The barrel floater was once known from the Greenfield Lake basin near Wilmington; however, Adams (1990) has documented an almost total elimination of the Unionidae, including the barrel floater, from this area.

Distribution by County: Cape Fear River Basin: Bladen Co. NOTE: All headwater areas that flow into these occupied habitats should receive special management.


According to Johnson (1970), the barrel floater is found in ponds and slow-flowing streams with mud or sand bottoms.
We have no information on the life history of the barrel floater available at this time.


General Life History For Mussels