Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Lampsilis cardium Rafinesque, 1820

Plain pocketbook


Lampsilis cardium, INHS 8898Lampsilis cardium, INHS 8898. East Fork Spoon River, Stark County, Illinois. 
Length: 4.0 inches (10.2 cm) for male (top), 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) for female (bottom).

Other common names Grandmaw, pocketbook.

Key charactersModerately thin, inflated, round to somewhat squarish shell with the posterior end bluntly pointed in males and truncated in females; smooth outer surface, yellow or tan with or without green rays.

Similar species Fat pocketbookpocketbookmucketpink mucketHiggins eye.Lampsilis cardium distribution

Description Shell large, round or somewhat quadrate, thin to moderately thick (particularly in older individuals), and inflated. Anterior end rounded, posterior end bluntly pointed (males) to truncated (females). Dorsal and ventral margins straight to curved. Umbos turned forward and elevated above the hinge line. Beak sculpture of four or five elevated ridges. Periostracum smooth, yellow or yellowish green, usually with numerous dark green rays of various widths. Length to 7 inches (17.8 cm).

Pseudocardinal teeth relatively large, elevated, and roughened in young individuals, smoother in old specimens; two in the left valve, one in the right. Lateral teeth straight to curved, moderate in length, and striated. Beak cavity deep. Nacre white or bluish white, occasionally pink or salmon, iridescent posteriorly.

Habitat Small creeks to large rivers in mud, sand, or gravel.

Status Widespread and common throughout its range.

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