Synopses & Reviews
Freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae, also known as naiads, have inhabited fresh waters around the world for the last 400 million years. Here in Texas, the presence of these unique mollusks ensures our water quality, helps support the worldwide pearl industry, and, in a quirk of history, influenced the founding of San Angelo. Yet their continued survival is by no means certain, due to overharvesting, environmental degradation, and the rapid spread of exotic mussel species. To help professional biologists and amateur naturalists know and preserve these mollusks, this book provides baseline reference material for all 52 species of freshwater mussels in Texas. It focuses particularly on the unionids, with brief descriptions of other freshwater bivalves. A typical entry includes the following information: ? Scientific and common names ? Distribution (with a range map) ? Size ? Shell ? Shell teeth ? External color ? Internal color ? Soft tissues ? Habitat ? Spawning ? Glochidia ? Hosts ? Economic importance ? Comments Color photos illustrate each species. In addition to the descriptions, the authors offer general discussions of freshwater mussel anatomy, biology, ecology, and commercial uses.
Freshwater mussels (Family Unionidae) represent an important yet poorly-known group of mollusks. These animals were used for food by Native Americans, harvested by early Spanish explorers for gem-quality pearls, and some species currently serve as a source of implant material for the cultured pearl industry. Recent recognition of their importance in aquatic ecosystems as barometers of environmental quality has been associated with dramatic decline and extinction of many species. Freshwater mussels are the most rapidly declining group of animals in North America. This guide represents a first-ofits-kind reference to assist both biologists and naturalists in the identification and study of freshwater mussels. Freshwater Mussels of Texas contains 224 pages with 226 black and white photographs, 144 color photographs and 79 line drawings covering all 52 species found in Texas waters. Introductory sections cover basic anatomy, reproduction, habitat, feeding, behavior, ecology, exploitation and biogeography. Individual species accounts address common names, classification, distribution, description, habitat, spawning, glochidia, hosts and economic importance. Other bivalve mollusks which may be found in the fresh waters of Texas are also discussed.
Color photos illustrate each species. In addition to the descriptions, the authors offer general discussions of freshwater mussel anatomy, biology, ecology, and commercial uses.