Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Wild Tuesday: More on Kankakee mussels (revised)

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

Now, I don't know if the two youngest and I were finding Wabash pigtoes or muckets (Actinonaias ligamentina) while wading the Kankakee River Thursday. (See post by Kevin Cummings at end.)

kankakee07-15-10mussel

Karyla K. Trester, webmaster for the Illinois Natural History Survey, sent this:

The Illinois Natural History Survey has an On-line mussel identification guide that you may be interested in. Here is the URL:

http://www.inhs.illinois.edu/animals_plants/mollusk/fieldguide.html

You can use the navigation buttons to flip through the "pages."


I'm not a genius, so it took a bit, but the key page as a starting point I think is this page with the scientific names and common names.

An IDNR official, who must have been taking a break from more pressing matters and reverting to old loves, sent this:

Dale, regarding your photo of K3 mussels, it is hard to tell, but they look like Wabash pigtoes. This is a fairly common species. K3 has a lot of good mussel fauna diversity and some interesting rare ones - elktoe, black sandshell...

How can you not enjoy the possibility that they were pigtoes. I can't wait to tell my kids.

Click here for the INHS page on the Wabash pigtoe.

As to black sandshell, I am certain I have come across them occasionally while playing around the Kankakee.

I don't think I've seen an elktoe. That strikes me as one I would have remembered.

Now I have to pay more attention.

Now Cummings suggests it is something else.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/34028

1 Comment

What you have are muckets, Actinonaias ligamentina, the most common and abundant mussel in the Kankakee (not common elsewhere though).

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 20, 2010 6:11 AM.

Ramble with Storm: Updike, World Cup & rabbits was the previous entry in this blog.

Fish of the Week: Hot king is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.