Ptychobranchus occidentalis is a species of freshwater mussel in the family Unionidae, the river mussels. It is endemic to the United States, where it is known from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Its common name is Ouachita kidneyshell.
This mussel packages its larvae, or glochidia, in a membranous conglutinate which resembles a small prey item. When a fish comes to investigate this lure, the glochidia attach to its gills and use it as a host during their development.
- Bogan, A. E. 1996. Ptychobranchus occidentalis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 05 August 2013.
- Ptychobranchus occidentalis. NatureServe. 2012.
- Orangethroat darter (Etheostoma spectabile) with the conglutinates of Ouachita kidneyshell, (Ptychobranchus occidentalis). Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society.
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