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Wavyrayed Lampmussel


The Wavyrayed Lampmussel

The Wavyrayed Lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola, Rafinesque 1820) is a small sexually dimorphic mussel recognized by its yellow or yellowish-green rounded shell. The shell is characterized by numerous thin wavy green rays that may be narrow and individual or coalesced into wider rays in some specimens (Figure 1). Regardless of size, the rays are always wavy with multiple interruptions giving rise to the common name of this mussel. The species is usually found in small to medium, clear, hydrologically stable rivers where it inhabits clean sand/gravel substrates in and around shallow riffle areas.

The Wavyrayed Lampmussel is considered globally secure (G4). It is considered nationally secure within the United States (N4) although it is declining throughout its range, particularly in the north where it is considered endangered in Illinois, threatened in Michigan and New York, and of special concern in Indiana. This species is considered imperiled (N1) in Canada where it was listed as Endangered in 1999 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The Canadian distribution is restricted to Ontario where it has likely always been a rare species (Metcalfe-Smith and McGoldrick 2003) with a historical range that included western Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and the Maitland, Ausable, St. Clair, Sydenham, Thames, Detroit and Grand Rivers. Current populations are known only from a small portion of the Lake St. Clair delta and the Ausable, Grand, Thames and Maitland Rivers.  

The Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team (OFMRT) was formed in the spring of 2003 to address concerns about the status of Ontario’s freshwater mussel populations and to begin to address the recovery planning obligations under Canada’s new Species at Risk Act (SARA). The National Recovery Strategy for the Wavyrayed Lampmussel was developed by the OFMRT using the best available information in an effort to reduce the threats, prevent extirpation and, if possible, to restore the species to healthy, self-sustaining levels.  It is anticipated that many of the actions proposed in this strategy to benefit the Wavyrayed Lampmussel will also act to reduce threats and improve habitat for other freshwater mussels and aquatic species in general.