Photo by Ed Miller
used by permission
up to 7 inches
Blue = current range
Hollow circles = former range
- Status in Kansas:
Common in southeast Kansas, but probably declining
- North American Status:
This species can be found
in the entire upper Mississippi River drainage from northern Arkansas and Tennessee north
to Minnesota and Wisconsin, and from New York west to eastern Kansas; as well as the
Winnipeg, Red, and Nelson River systems of central Canada; Great Lakes- St. Lawrence
system throughout except most of Lake Superior. It is considered stable througout the
majority of its wide range.
The plain pocketbook is relatively easy to identify because of its large umbos.
However, male and female mussels of this species are dimorphic, meaning their shapes
differ. The female is more inflated as she requires more internal space to brood her eggs
within gill pouches each year. The male is longer and more pointed at its posterior end
than the female. See pages 10-11 for a detailed account of plain pocketbook reproduction.
The plain pocketbook is widespread but is never found in high numbers at any site. One
intact shell was found in a Pleistocene bank deposit where mammoth and ground sloth bones
were also buried.
- Fish Hosts:
bluegill, largemouth bass and sauger
Text: Ed Miller, Karen Couch and Jim Mason
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason