Swan mussel

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Swan mussel
Anodonta cygnea1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Unionoida
Family: Unionidae
Genus: Anodonta
Species: A. cygnea
Binomial name
Anodonta cygnea
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The swan mussel, Anodonta cygnea, is a large species of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusc in the family Unionidae, the river mussels.

Because of its morphological variability and its wide range of distribution, there are over 500 synonyms for this species.[2]

Shell description[edit]

The shell is thin but large (approximately 10 to 20 cm) and rather flat, even at the umbo. The shell color is often pale greenish or brownish.For differences from Anodonta anatina see Animalbase below (external links).


Its native distribution is European-Siberian. The geographical distribution of this species is from the British Isles east to Siberia, and south into northern Africa.

  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic - in Bohemia, in Moravia,[3] vulnerable (VU);[4] Czech code, Decree for implementation, No. 395/1992 Sb. (and No. 175/2006 Sb.) - Highly threatened species.
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands - [6]
  • Poland - endangered[7][8]
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden - quite rare [9]
  • British Isles including Ireland
  • Italy
  • Portugal


This species is found in rivers and lakes. They have a strong pungent odor and are used by carp fisherman as bait.

Life habits[edit]

Drawing of the glochidium larva of the swan mussel


  1. ^ Lopes-Lima , M. (2014). "Anodonta cygnea". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2014: e.T156066A21400900. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-1.RLTS.T156066A21400900.en. Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  2. ^ http://mussel-project.ua.edu/tax/intro/overnamed.html Accessed 17 November 2010.
  3. ^ (in Czech) Horsák M., Juřičková L., Beran L., Čejka T. & Dvořák L. (2010). "Komentovaný seznam měkkýšů zjištěných ve volné přírodě České a Slovenské republiky. [Annotated list of mollusc species recorded outdoors in the Czech and Slovak Republics]". Malacologica Bohemoslovaca, Suppl. 1: 1-37. PDF.
  4. ^ Red List of the molluscs (Mollusca) of the Czech Republic http://mollusca.sav.sk/malacology/redlist.htm
  5. ^ Glöer P. & Meier-Brook C. (2003) Süsswassermollusken. DJN, pp. 134, page 109, ISBN 3-923376-02-2
  6. ^ [1] ANEMOON
  7. ^ Anodonta cygnea - Polska Czerwona Księga Zwierząt - Bezkręgowce
  8. ^ pl:Polska Czerwona Księga Zwierząt - Bezkręgowce
  9. ^ [2] cited 16 February 2007

External links[edit]