• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

    Mississippi

    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Pink Papershell

(Potamilus ohiensis) Rafinesque, 1820
A Pink Papershell mussel
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Other Common Names:
Papershell; Fragile heelsplitter
Habitat:
Medium to large rivers in silt, mud, or sand.
Length:
Up to 7 inches (17.8 cm).
Outer Shell Color:
Varies. It may be pink, yellow, green, brown, tan, olive, or gray.
Inner Shell Color:
Pink or purple.
Shell Thickness:
Very thin. Fragile.
Shell Outline:
The most obvious feature of the shell outline are two flattened extensions that resemble wings. The wings are found along the point where the two shell halves join, on either side of the beak. The smaller of the two wings may be absent in adults (it often breaks or wears off). The rest of the shell outline (without the wings) resembles the shape of a stretched egg.
Shell Surface:
Shell looks flattened. The outer shell surface is smooth and shiny.
Scientific Description:
Shell pink, yellow, green, brown or gray. Concentric bands of several of these colors are common. Shell is usually smooth and shiny. Bialate(two wing extensions of shell). Sexes alike. Lengthy pseudosiphons which distinguished this species from all other Upper Mississippi River mussels.
Similar Looking Mussels:
Host Fish:
White crappie, freshwater drum.
Distribution:
Widespread and locally common.
Minnesota State Listing:
None.
Federal Listing:
None.

Did You Know?

A slow and shallow section of Itaska.

At the headwaters of the Mississippi, the average surface speed of the water is 1.2 miles per hour. People typically walk 3 miles per hour.