Scientific Name: Lampsilis radiata conspicua

Classification:  State Threatened

Photo Credit: NCWRC




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

Isaac Lea described this subspecies from the Yadkin River, North Carolina in 1872 (Johnson 1970). Like Lampsilis radiata radiata, the shell is elliptical in shape. The posterior ridge is well rounded. Umbos are swollen and extend above the hinge line. Both the posterior and anterior ends of the shell are rounded. In general, the surface of the periostracum is smoother than that of L. radiata radiata and the shell is heavier and more inflated. The periostracum is reddish-brown with dark greenish black rays over most of the shell. The nacre is usually iridescent salmon. The lateral teeth are long and slightly curved—two on the left valve and one on the right valve. Two pseudocardinal teeth are found on each valve.


Shell Anatomy

This subspecies of Lampsilis radiata appears to be restricted to the headwaters of the Yadkin-Pee Dee and Neuse river basins of North Carolina.

Distribution by County: Pee-Dee River Basin: Davidson Co. (High Rock Lake); Randolph Co. (Uwharrie River Basin); Montgomery Co. (Uwharrie River Basin, including Lake Tillery, Little River Subbasin); Stanly Co. (Uwharrie River Basin, including Lake Tillery. Neuse River Basin: Wake Co. (Middle Creek Subbasin, Swift Creek Subbasin); Johnston Co. (Middle Creek Subbasin, Swift Creek Subbasin); Orange Co. (Eno River Subbasin); Durham Co. (Eno River Subbasin, Little River Subbasin, Flat River Subbasin). NOTE: All headwater areas that flow into these occupied habitats should receive special management.


The Carolina fatmucket is found in gravel, cobble, or boulder substrates as well as in impounded habitats such as Lake Michie (Walter 1956) and Lake Tillery.

This species is a bradytictic breeder. Walter (1954) found gravid Carolina fatmucket females during the fall and early winter months. Fish hosts are unknown. 


General Life History For Mussels