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Integrated taxonomy reveals new threatened freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Hyriidae: Westralunio) from southwestern Australia

Klunzinger, Michael W.; Whisson, Corey; Zieritz, Alexandra; Benson, Justin A.; Stewart, Barbara A.; Kirkendale, Lisa


Michael W. Klunzinger

Corey Whisson

Justin A. Benson

Barbara A. Stewart

Lisa Kirkendale


The freshwater mussel Westralunio carteri (Iredale, 1934) has long been considered the sole Westralunio species in Australia, limited to the Southwest and listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and under Australian legislation. Here, we used species delimitation models based on COI mtDNA sequences to confirm existence of three evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) within this taxon and conducted morphometric analyses to investigate whether shell shape differed significantly among these ESUs. “W. carteri” I was found to be significantly larger and more elongated than “W. carteri” II and “W. carteri” II + III combined, but not different from “W. carteri” III alone. We recognise and redescribe “W. carteri” I as Westralunio carteri (Iredale, 1934) from western coastal drainages and describe “W. carteri” II and “W. carteri” III as Westralunio inbisi sp. nov. from southern and lower southwestern drainages. Two subspecies are further delineated: “W. carteri” II is formally described as Westralunio inbisi inbisi subsp. nov. from southern coastal drainages, and “W. carteri” III as Westralunio inbisi meridiemus subsp. nov. from the southwestern corner. Because this study profoundly compresses the range of Westralunio carteri northward and introduces additional southern and southwestern taxa with restricted distributions, new threatened species nominations are necessary.


Klunzinger, M. W., Whisson, C., Zieritz, A., Benson, J. A., Stewart, B. A., & Kirkendale, L. (2022). Integrated taxonomy reveals new threatened freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Hyriidae: Westralunio) from southwestern Australia. Scientific Reports, 12(1), Article 20385.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 21, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2022
Publication Date Nov 27, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 28, 2022
Journal Scientific Reports
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Article Number 20385
Public URL
Publisher URL


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