Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

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Shared by : Bharat Adhikari (Nepal)
Habitat : France, Spain, Italy
Status : Critically Endangered
It is a species of European freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusk in the family Margaritiferidae, the freshwater pearl mussels. It is named after Lorenz Spengler. This species was originally known to be widespread in Europe extending in the north to Denmark, east to Italy and to Portugal in the West. Nowadays, it only occurs in France and Spain and is extinct in the rest of Europe (Araujo and Ramos 2001). The current range of this species is recorded from part of the rivers Charente, Vienne and Creuse in France and part of the Ebro river in Spain. Therefore, the species is known from four locations, namely the Charente, Vienne, Creuze and Ebro rivers, with a possible fifth one which has to be confirmed (Dronne river in France). In parts of the range the species has been extinct for hundreds of years (UK), whereas in other regions the decline and disappearance happened in the last century.
It is mainly found n freshwater. This species occurs in slow-flowing large rivers. It is dependent on well-oxygenated gravel substrate for juvenile development. It relies on the presence of its fish host (which is believed to be the Common sturgeon Acipenser sturio, nearly extirpated in most western European rivers). Nevertheless, the Mediterranean populations (Ebro river) may reproduce thanks to another fish host (River Blenny Salaria fluviatillis).
Main threats are/were due to human activities, either by direct killing of individuals or by habitat modification. Other threats are use of pesticides and water pollution.

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