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Revisiting the North American freshwater mussel genus Quadrula sensu lato (Bivalvia Unionidae): phylogeny, taxonomy and species delineation


Manuel Lopes?Lima

Lyubov Burlakova

Alexander Karatayev


Elsa Froufe

Arthur E. Bogan


© 2019 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Freshwater mussels (Bivalvia, Unionidae) have suffered strong declines over the last century. High morphological plasticity of Unionidae causes disturbances in their systematics and taxonomy, hampering conservation efforts. Species that have historically been placed under the North American genus Quadrula have suffered from numerous taxonomic and species delineation problems since its inception. Four genera are presently recognized within Quadrula sensu lato, that is, Cyclonaias, Quadrula, Theliderma and Tritogonia, but their phylogenetic basis remains incompletely tested. In the present study, we reconstructed several two-marker (mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I—COI and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1—ND1) phylogenies with newly collected specimens and all previously available sequences covering most species within this group. We then delineated the species within the group using an integrative approach with the application of molecular statistical methods, morphometric (Fourier Shape) analyses and geographic distribution data. Four clades corresponding to these genera were consistently recovered in all phylogenies. To validate the generic status of these clades, molecular analyses were complemented with morphological, anatomical and ecological data compiled from the literature. Several revisions are here proposed to the current systematics and taxonomy of these genera, including the synonymization of Cyclonaias asperata under Cyclonaias kieneriana; the inclusion of Quadrula apiculata and Quadrula rumphiana under Quadrula quadrula; the placement of Quadrula nobilis under Tritogonia; and finally the separation of the Mobile River basin populations of Theliderma metanevra as a new species, that is, Theliderma johnsoni n. sp. The conservation implications of the proposed changes are then discussed.


Lopes?Lima, M., Burlakova, L., Karatayev, A., Gomes?dos?Santos, A., Zieritz, A., Froufe, E., & Bogan, A. E. (2019). Revisiting the North American freshwater mussel genus Quadrula sensu lato (Bivalvia Unionidae): phylogeny, taxonomy and species delineation. Zoologica Scripta, 48(3), 313-336.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 18, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 18, 2019
Publication Date Mar 18, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 19, 2020
Journal Zoologica Scripta
Print ISSN 0300-3256
Electronic ISSN 1463-6409
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 3
Pages 313-336
Keywords Animal Science and Zoology; Genetics; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics; Molecular Biology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lopes?Lima, M, Burlakova, L, Karatayev, A, et al. Revisiting the North American freshwater mussel genus Quadrula sensu lato (Bivalvia Unionidae): Phylogeny, taxonomy and species delineation. Zool Scr. 2019, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


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