The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio

G. Thomas Watters, Michael A. Hoggarth, and David H. Stansbery


Oct 2009
Nature/Fish; Nature/Seashells; Nature/Marine life
421 pp. 8½ x 11

$69.95 cloth 978-0-8142-1105-2
Add cloth to shopping cart

Shopping Cart Instructions
Review/Change Shopping Cart & Check-out

read excerpts from the book

leave / read comments and critiques of the book

Explore More
The author recommends the following links:

The Ohio State University Division of Molluscs

Digital Murex

The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society

The American Malacological Society


“The volume contains many pages of excellent color photographs, 23 pages of references, a large index, and species distribution maps. Although the book will have its greatest use in Ohio and surrounding states, the authors provide an intensive history of these animals that will be helpful in broader regions.” —Choice

“This beautiful book is a worthy companion to Trautman’s magnificent The Fishes of Ohio. It should be read not just by mussel biologists and students of Ohio’s natural history, but by anyone who is interested in North America’s rich freshwater life or its current plight. The book’s many photos and distribution maps remind us what a remarkable array of species once lived in Ohio’s waters, and document the species’ sadly diminished state.” —Dave Strayer, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio is an important contribution to the freshwater mollusk literature. This highly readable book nicely summarizes the wealth of information on mussel classification, life cycles, and ecology. The thorough species accounts will be indispensable to those working with the diverse Ohioan and Lawrentian faunas.” —Caryn C. Vaughn, Director, Oklahoma Biological Survey, University of Oklahoma

“This long-awaited and -anticipated volume fills a gap in our knowledge of the upper Ohio River freshwater bivalve fauna. Watters and his co-authors have figured multiple specimens of each species, clearly illustrating shell variation and umbonal sculpture. Pictures of historical malacologists are included in the literature cited, putting a face with the work. The volume sports an illustrated glossary and a key, both often missing from other freshwater mussel volumes. The text is well organized, authoritative, thorough, and very readable. Freshwater Mussels of Ohio will be indispensable for anyone working on freshwater bivalves in the Ohio River drainage.” —Arthur E. Bogan, Ph.D., Research Curator of Aquatic Invertebrates, North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences

Nearly 200 years ago, a naturalist named Rafinesque stood on the banks of the Ohio River and began to describe the freshwater mussels he found there. Since that time these animals have become the most imperiled animals in North America. Dozens of species have become extinct, and it is estimated that two-thirds of the remaining freshwater mussels face a similar fate. Yet, despite their importance, the mussels of Ohio remain a poorly documented and largely mysterious fauna.

The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio by G. Thomas Watters, Michael A. Hoggarth, and David H. Stansbery brings together, for the first time, the most up-to-date research on Ohio’s mussels. Designed for the weekend naturalist and scientist alike, it synthesizes recent work on genetics, biology, and systematics into one book. Each species is illustrated to a degree not found in any other work. Full-page color plates depict shell variation, hinge detail, and beak sculpture. Full-page maps show the distribution of each species based upon the collections of numerous museums (with historical distributions dating from the 1800s). In addition to species accounts, the book has a substantive introduction that includes information on basic biology, human use, and conservation issues. Extensive synonymies, a key to all species, and an illustrated glossary are included as well.

G. Thomas Watters is senior research associate and Curator of Molluscs of the Museum of Biological Diversity in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University, and science director of the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Freshwater Mussel Conservation and Research Facility. Michael A. Hoggarth is professor and chair of the Department of Life and Earth Sciences at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, and Associate Curator of the Museum of Biological Diversity at The Ohio State University. David H. Stansbery is faculty emeritus in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology in the College of Biological Sciences at The Ohio State University and emeritus Curator of Molluscs of the Museum of Biological Diversity.