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Phylogeny of European Anodontini (Bivalvia: Unionidae) with a redescription of Anodonta exulcerata


Nicoletta Riccardi

Elsa Froufe

Arthur E Bogan


Isabella Vanetti

Simone Varandas

Serena Zaccara

Karl-Otto Nagel

Manuel Lopes-Lima


Freshwater bivalves are highly threatened and globally declining due to multiple anthropogenic impacts, making them important conservation targets. Because conservation policies and actions generally occur at the species level, accurate species identification and delimitation is critical. A recent phylogenetic study of Italian mussel populations revalidated an Anodonta species bringing the number of known European Anodontini from three to four species. The current study contributes to the clarification of the taxonomy and systematics of European Anodontini, using a combination of molecular, morphological and anatomical data, and constructs phylogenies based on complete mitogenomes. A redescription of A. exulcerata and a comparative analysis of morphological and anatomical characters with respect to the other two species of Anodonta present in the area are provided. No reliable diagnostic character has emerged from comparative analysis of the morphometric characters of 109 specimens from 16 sites across the Italian peninsula. In fact, the discriminant analysis resulted in a greater probability of correct assignment to the site of origin than to the species. This confirms the difficulties of an uncritical application of visual characters for the delimitation of species, especially for Anodontinae.


Riccardi, N., Froufe, E., Bogan, A. E., Zieritz, A., Teixeira, A., Vanetti, I., …Lopes-Lima, M. (2020). Phylogeny of European Anodontini (Bivalvia: Unionidae) with a redescription of Anodonta exulcerata. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 189(3), 745–761.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 13, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 7, 2019
Publication Date 2020-07
Deposit Date Dec 10, 2019
Publicly Available Date Dec 8, 2020
Journal Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Print ISSN 0024-4082
Electronic ISSN 1096-3642
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 189
Issue 3
Pages 745–761
Keywords Animal Science and Zoology; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society following peer review. The version of record Nicoletta Riccardi, Elsa Froufe, Arthur E Bogan, Alexandra Zieritz, Amílcar Teixeira, Isabella Vanetti, Simone Varandas, Serena Zaccara, Karl-Otto Nagel, Manuel Lopes-Lima, Phylogeny of European Anodontini (Bivalvia: Unionidae) with a redescription of Anodonta exulcerata, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society is available online at:


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