Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mystery Creature #2

Ok, so I revealed the mystery creature as the plain pocketbook, a freshwater mussel that lives in the Olentangy River.

But here is another mussel, from the same river and from the same exact area where we found the first individual. Its shell had green rays, and its mantle was bright orange. This species doesn't have the fish decoy effect that the plain pocketbook has, but I'm sure this mantle is just as attractive to fish. This individual kept pumping its mantle open and closed in rapid succession, about once a second. I've searched for more mussels with their mantles waving, and I think their time, at least for the season, is through. Megan and I found this individual on the last day of September.


  1. I remember stumbling upon this in the river (how do I always find the weird things?!) but the pictures now make me think it looks like a vagina...hmmm...Nature mimics itself...

  2. This is the wavy-rayed lampmussel Lampsilis fasciola The lures of fasciola are highly variable and can be spotted, stripped or solid in color. Check out the various colors at:

  3. Thanks Musselboy...Interesting stuff. Mussel are really amazing creatures. The photos on Dr. Zanatta's pages are pretty spectacular. It still blows my mind when I see how well freshwater mussels are able to mimic fish.