Host fishes and reproductive biology of 6 freshwater mussel species from the Mobile Basin, USA
Host fishes were identified for 6 species of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) from the Black Warrior River drainage, Mobile Basin, USA: Stropkitus subwxus, Pleurohema furvum, Ptyckobranchus greeni, Lampsilis perovalis, Medionidus acutissimus, and Villosa nebulosna. Hosts were determined as those that produced juvenile mussels from glochidial infestations in the laboratory. The following mussel-fish-host relationships were established: Stropkitus subwxus with 10 species including Cyrinidae, Catostomidae, Fundulidae, Centrarchidae, and Percidae; Pleurobema furvum with Campostoma oligolepis, Cyprirlella callistia, C. venusta, Semotilus atromaculatus, and Fundulus olivaceus; Ptyckobrunckus greeni with Etlleostoma bellator, E. douglasi, Percina nigrofasciata, and Percina sp. cf. caprodes; Lampsilis perovalis with Micropterus coosae, M. punctulatus, and M. salmoides; Medionidus acutissimus with Fundulus olivaceus, Etkeostoma douglasi, E. wkipplei, Percinani nigrafasciata, and Percina sp. cf. caprodes; and Villosa nebulosa with Lopomis megulotis, Micropterus coosae, M. punctulutus,and M. sulmoides. Funduls olivaceus served as host for 3 species and carried glochidia for long periods for 2 other species, suggesting that topminnows may serve as hosts for a wide variety of otherwise host-specialist mussel species. Host relationships for the species tested are similar tocongeners. Methods of glochidial release, putative methods of host-fish attraction, and gravid periods are described for the 6 species.