This is a widespread species. Its shell reaches a length of 200 mm (7 1/2 inches) in length. It has a flattened shape, with the posterior end (right side in picture above) coming to a fairly sharp edge. The dorsal margin of the shell extends to form a thin, prominent "wing". (Its common name derives from the potential consequence of stepping barefoot on one buried in the stream bottom!)
It does well in mud substrates and may be found from very shallow areas down to 20 feet deep. It is usually not found in stream reaches with swift current.
This is a bradytictic species, forming embryos in fall and releasing the glochidia in late winter/early spring. It uses a wide variety of fish species as hosts for its glochidia including carp, various sunfish, longnose gar, gizzard shad, river redhorse and sauger.
RANGE AND STATUS IN KANSAS: This species is commonly found throughout the eastern half in Kansas. Western-most records are from Wichita and Salina. For more information and a distribution map, see the species entry in the Mussel Bed. STABLE
RANGE IN NORTH AMERICA: Found throughout the mid- and upper Mississippi River drainage from Tennessee and northeastern Oklahoma north to Lake Erie and Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. STABLE
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