OUACHITA KIDNEYSHELL

Ouachita Kidneyshell mussels

Photo by Ed Miller
used by permission

Ouachita
Kidneyshell

Ptychobranchus
occidentalis

Length: 
up to 4 1/2 inches

  • Range:  Ouachita Kidneyshell range map for Kansas
    Blue = current range
    Hollow circles = former range
    A map showing counties with designated critical habitat for this species may be found the the Kansas Wildlife Refuge
  • Status in Kansas:
    Threatened
  • North American Status: (From NatureServe)
    This species is distributed in the Ozark Province of the Mississippi Interior Basin drainages of Arkansas, Missouri, eastern Kansas, and (possibly) northern Louisiana. It is known from the Current and Little Red Rivers in Arkansas and various sites in Oklahoma.
  • Comments:   The Ouachita kidneyshell is an Ozarkian mussel that only occurs in a small portion of four states: Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. The shell is flattened, heavy for its size and kidney-shaped. The greenish-yellow external shell typically has several distinct fine-lined green rays radiating outward from the umbo. It can be mistaken for the spike mussel, especially where the two co-exist. See pages 8-9 for a detailed account of Ouachita Kidneyshell reproduction. This mussel is mainly found in riffles and shallow runs within the Fall, Verdigris and Spring rivers. Relic shells only are found in the Neosho River.
  • Fish Hosts:   orangethroat darter and greenside darter

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Mussel Bed
Text: Ed Miller, Karen Couch and Jim Mason
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason