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Nearly 78 percent of all North American freshwater mussel species have rapidly declining populations, and the elephant-ear (Elliptio crassidens crassidens) is no exception.

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Bluefer

Bluefer (Purpleshell)

Potamilus purpuratus
Like the pink heelsplitter and fragile and pink papershells, the bluefer uses freshwater drum as a host.

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brokenray

Brokenray

Lampsilis reeveiana
Includes three subspecies, Ozark (broken rays), Northern (Britt’s) and Arkansas (Reeve’s).

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butterfly

Butterfly

Ellipsaria lineolata
The butterfly is one of the most beautiful of Missouri’s mussels.

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deertoe

Deertoe

Truncilla truncata
A common mussel in some areas, deertoe have decorative green markings.

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Photograph of Ebonyshell freshwater mussel shell exterior view

Ebonyshell

Fusconaia ebena
At one time the most valuable shell to the commercial button industry, the ebonyshell is now classified as Endangered in Missouri and is a candidate for federal Endangered status.

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elephant's ear

Elephantear (Elephant's Ear)

Elliptio crassidens
Today found only in the Meramec River, the elephantear has been classified as Endangered in Missouri and is a candidate for federal Endangered status.

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elktoe

Elktoe

Alasmidonta marginata
The elktoe is one of many Missouri mussels with a declining population.

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ellipse

Ellipse and Bleedingtooth

Venustaconcha ellipsiformis and V. pleasii
These small mussels use darters, a type of fish, as hosts for their young.

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fatmucket

Fatmucket

Lampsilis siliquoidea
The fatmucket was a favorite species harvested for the button industry in the early 1900s.

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