Elliptio nigella (I. Lea, 1852)

Recovery pearly mussel, Winged spike



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Last record: 1958

Rediscovered in 2008

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered



Apalachicola river system, Georgia, USA


Biology & Ecology










Brim Box, J. and Williams, J. D. (2000). Unionid mollusks of the Apalachicola Basin in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Alabama Museum of Natural History Bulletin 21: 1-143.

Cowie, Robert H., Régnier, Claire, Fontaine, Benoît, and Bouchet, Philippe. (2017). Measuring the Sixth Extinction: what do mollusks tell us? The Nautilus 131(1): 3-41.

Cummings, K. and Cordeiro, J. (2012). Elliptio nigella. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. ( Downloaded on 06 May 2014.

Frierson, L. S. (1927). A Classified and Annotated Checklist of the North American Niades. Baylor University Press, Waco, Texas.

Graf, Daniel L. and Cummings, Kevin S. (2021). A ‘big data’ approach to global freshwater mussel diversity (Bivalvia: Unionoida), with an updated checklist of genera and species. Journal of Molluscan Studies 87(1): eyaa034.

Haag, Wendell R. (2009). Past and future patterns of freshwater mussel extinctions in North America during the Holocene, pp. 107-128. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Johnson, R. I. (1968). Elliptio nigella, an overlooked unionid from the Apalachicola River system. The Nautilus 82(1): 22-24.

Martin, S. (2009). Fresh find: Students stumble on possible long-lost freshwater mussel. The Log (University of Georgia) . spring 2009:10-11.

Régnier, Claire, Fontaine, Benoît and Bouchet, Philippe. (2009). Not Knowing, Not Recording, Not Listing: Numerous Unnoticed Mollusk Extinctions. Conservation Biology 23(5): 1214-1221.

Simpson, C. T. (1914). A descriptive catalogue of the naiades, or pearly fresh-water mussels. Bryant Walker, Detroit, Michigan.

Williams, James D., Bogan, Arthur E., Butler, Robert S., Cummings, Kevin S., Garner, Jeffrey T., Harris, John L., Johnson, Nathan A. and Watters, G. Thomas. (2017). A revised list of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionida) of the United States and Canada. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation 20: 33-58.

Williams, J.D., Bogan, A.E. & J.T. Garner. (2008). Freshwater mussels of Alabama & the Mobile Basin in Georgia, Mississippi, & Tennessee. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL 908 pp.

Wisniewski, J.M., Rankin, N.M., Weiler, D.A., Strickland, B.A. and H.C. Chandler. (2013). Occupancy and detection of benthic macroinvertebrates: a case study of unionids in the lower Flint River, Georgia, USA. Freshwater Science 32: 1122-1135.

Wisniewski, J.M., Rankin, N.M., Weiler, D.A., Strickland, B.A. and H.C. Chandler. (2013). Use of occupancy modelling to assess the status and habitat relationships of freshwater mussels in the Lower Flint River, Georgia, USA. Walkerana 17(1): 24-40.


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