Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Stirrup shell

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Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Unionoida
Genus  Theliderma
Higher classification  Quadrula
Phylum  Mollusca
Family  Unionidae
Scientific name  Quadrula stapes
Rank  Species
Similar  Molluscs, Inflated heelsplitter, Alabama moccasinshell, Southern clubshell, Bivalvia

The stirrup shell or stirrupshell, scientific name Theliderma stapes, is a species of bivalve in the Unionidae family.

It is native to the United States, where it is known only from Alabama and Mississippi. It is endemic to the Coastal Plain region of the Mobile River system.


This species experienced a population collapse primarily due to river modification in the form of canal construction. In 1976, it was predicted that the construction of the Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway would cause the extinction of this species. This prediction would quickly come to fruition after the waterway was completed in 1984. Fresh-dead shells of this mussel were last collected in 1989, and further surveys have failed to find any evidence of a surviving population.

In 2015, it was proposed to delist this species from the Endangered Species Act. This is done when further efforts to recover a species would almost certainly be futile, and there is no evidence of currently surviving individuals. This species is likely now extinct.


Stirrup shell Wikipedia

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