• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

    Mississippi

    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Fluted-Shell

(Lasmigona costata) Rafinesque, 1820
A Fluted-Shell mussel
K.S. Cummings, Illinois Natural History Survey
Other Common Names:
Sand mussel, squawfoot.
Habitat:
Lives in sand, mud, or fine gravel in medium to large rivers where the flow of water are slow to moderate.
Length:
Up to 7 inches (17.8 cm).
Outer Shell Color:
Green to yellowish brown in younger individuals and becomes chestnut or dark brown as the shell matures.
Inner Shell Color:
White, bluish white, and often salmon-colored.
Shell Thickness:
Moderately thick.
Shell Outline:
Longer than wide and slightly inflated. Both the two ends of the mussel are sharply curved. The top and bottom are also both straight to slightly curved.
Shell Surface:
Shell is smooth on end closest to where the two halves meet and contains noticeable ridges on the opposite end.
Scientific Description:
Yellow, green, or brown shell often with green rays. Shell elongate, subrectangular and compressed. Ridges or "flutes" on posterior scope.
Similar Looking Mussels:
Host Fish:
Carp.
Distribution:
Widespread but relatively uncommon.
Minnesota State Listing:
Special Concern
Federal Listing:
None.

Did You Know?

Itasca, Headwaters of the Mississippi River

The river is so shallow at Lake Itasca that children can walk across the Mississippi. Between Governor Nicholls Wharf and Algiers Point in New Orleans, the Mississippi is more than 200 feet deep.