Pisidium henslowanum, from here.

Belongs within: Neoheterodontei.
Contains: Sphaerium.

The Sphaeriidae is a family of small freshwater bivalves, first definitely recorded from the Cretaceous. They live attached to a substrate by a number of mucous threads; because of their small size, potential substrates may include other invertebrates or the surface water film as well as aquatic plants or rocks. In the cosmopolitan genus Pisidium, the beak is behind the middle of the valve so the almost wholly immersed ligament is on the shorter end of the hinge (Pilsbry & Bequaert 1927).

Characters (from Pilsbry & Bequaert 1927): Shell oval, squarish, or subtriangular, of small or minute size, rather thin, porcelanous within, the adductor scars not impressed. Pallial line simple. Hinge curved, narrow, with anterior and posterior lateral teeth in both valves; cardinals very small, not more than two in each valve; those of the right valve united into an inverted V or a straight lamella; those of the left valve wholly separate, the posterior obliquely above the anterior (or sometimes absent); ligament narrowly exposed or more or less completely immersed. Mantle margins united posteriorly to form siphons. Viviparous and hermaphroditic.

Sphaeriidae [Cycladae, Cycladia, Pisidiadae, Pisidiidae, Sphaeridae, Sphaerioidea]
    |--+--Sphaerium TW07
    |  `--Musculium TW07
    |       |--M. heterodon T59
    |       |--M. lacustre (Muller 1774) TW07 (see below for synonymy)
    |       |    |--M. l. lacustre B65
    |       |    `--‘Sphaerium’ l. ryckholti B65
    |       |--M. partumeium T63 [=Sphaerium partumeium T63; incl. M. truncatum H64]
    |       |--M. securis (Prime 1852) KM88 [=Sphaerium securis H65]
    |       `--M. transversum (Say 1829) KM88 [=Sphaerium transversum H65]
    `--Pisidium Pfeiffer 1821 TW07, BV86 [incl. Pseudeupera Germain 1913 PB27]
         |  i. s.: P. abditum W79 (see below for synonymy)
         |         P. adamsi W79
         |         P. aequilaterale W79
         |         P. aucklandica Suter 1907 P61
         |         P. casertanum (Poli 1795) KM88 [incl. P. casertanum var. thermale PB27]
         |         P. cinereum G40 [=P. fontinale var. cinerea A79]
         |         P. compressum [incl. P. kirklandi] PF15
         |         P. conventus T59
         |         P. dubium (Say 1816) KM88
         |         P. dulvertonensis Tennison Woods 1875 P79
         |         P. ferrugineum (Prime 1852) KM88
         |         P. giraudi Bourguignat 1885 PB27
         |         P. henslowanum (Sheppard 1825) KM88 (see below for synonymy)
         |         P. hermosum Bourguignat 1888 PB27
         |         P. hodgkini Suter 1905 P61
         |         P. katangense Pilsbry & Bequaert 1927 PB27
         |         P. kenianum Preston 1911 PB27
         |         P. landeroini Germain 1909 [=P. (*Pseudeupera) landeroini] PB27
         |         P. langleyanum Melvill & Ponsonby 1891 PB27
         |         P. lilljeborgi (Esmark & Hoyer 1886) KM88
         |         P. nitidum (Jenyns 1832) KM88
         |         P. novaezelandiae Prime 1862 P61
         |         P. obtusale (Lamarck 1818) TW07 (see below for synonymy)
         |           |--P. o. obtusale B65
         |           `--P. o. robusta B65
         |         P. occidentale Newcomb 1861 C64
         |         P. ovampicum Ancey 1890 PB27
         |         P. pauperculum PF15
         |         P. personatum T63
         |         P. pirothi Jickeli 1881 PB27
         |         P. pusillum G40 (see below for synonymy)
         |         P. punctatum (Sterki 1895) KM88
         |         P. punctiferum H65
         |         P. randolphii E68
         |         P. ruwenzoriense Germain 1911 PB27
         |         P. supinum H65
         |         P. tasmanicum Tennison Woods 1875 P79
         |         P. tenuilineatum H65
         |         P. variabile (Prime 1852) KM88
         |         P. ventricosum [incl. P. rotundatum] H65
         |         P. walkeri (Sterki 1895) KM88
         |--P. (Pisidium) BV86
         |    |--*P. (P.) amnicum P61 (see below for synonymy)
         |    |--P. (P.) cavaticum Shadin 1952 BV86
         |    |--P. (P.) ljovuschkini Starobogatov 1962 BV86
         |    `--P. (P.) subterraneum Shadin 1932 BV86
         `--P. (Neopisidium Odhner 1921) BV86
              `--P. (N.) cavernicum Mori 1938 BV86

Sphaeriidae incertae sedis:
  Eupera Bourguignat 1854 [incl. Clessinella Waagen 1905, Limosina Clessin 1872; Euperinae] PB27
    |--‘Cyclas’ modioliformis (see below for synonymy) PB27
    |--E. bequaerti Dautzenberg & Germain 1914 PB27
    |--E. cubensis G88
    |--E. ferruginea (Krauss 1848) [=Cyclas ferruginea, Limosina ferruginea] PB27
    |--E. letourneuxi Bourguignat 1883 PB27
    |--E. mediafricana Pilsbry & Bequaert 1927 PB27
    |    |--E. m. mediafricana PB27
    |    `--E. m. etheriarum Pilsbry & Bequaert 1927 PB27
    |--E. parasitica (Parreyss in Deshayes 1854) (see below for synonymy) PB27
    |--E. platensis H63
    |--E. sinensis Odhner 1922 PB27
    |--E. singleyi H66
    `--E. sturanyi (Waagen 1905) [=Sphaerium (*Clessinella) sturanyi] PB27
  Pseudocorbicula Dautzenberg 1908 PB27
    `--*P. alluaudi Dautzenberg 1908 PB27
  Byssanodonta H63

‘Cyclas’ modioliformis [=*Limosina modioliformis; incl. Pisidium moquinianum, *Eupera moquiniana] PB27

Eupera parasitica (Parreyss in Deshayes 1854) [=Pisum parasiticum, Limosina parasitica; incl. Eupera jickelii Bourguignat 1883] PB27

Musculium lacustre (Muller 1774) TW07 [=Cardium lacustre G40, Cyclas lacustris G40, Sphaerium lacustre H65, Tellina lacustris G40; incl. Cy. calyculata G40]

Pisidium abditum W79 [incl. P. abditum var. abyssorum Stimpson in Walker 1879 (n. n.) W79, P. amplum C64, P. kurtzii C64, Cyclas minor Ad. 1841 C64, P. notatum Pr. 1852 C64, P. obscurum Pr. 1851 C64, P. plenum C64, P. regulare Pr. 1852 C64, P. resartum C64, P. retusum Pr. 1859 C64, P. rubrum C64, P. zonatum C64]

Pisidium henslowanum (Sheppard 1825) KM88 [=Pera henslowiana G40, Tellina henslowiana G40; incl. Cyclas appendiculata G40, Pera appendiculata G40]

Pisidium obtusale (Lamarck 1818) TW07 [=Cyclas obtusale G40, C. obtusalis G40, Pisidium pusillum var. obtusalis A79; incl. Pera gibba Leach ms G40]

Pisidium pusillum G40 [=Tellina pusilla PB27, Corneocyclas pusilla PB27, Cyclas pusilla G40; incl. Cy. gibba G40, Euglesa henslowiana Leach ms G40]

*Pisidium (Pisidium) amnicum P61 [=Tellina amnica P61, Cardium amnicum G40, Cyclas amnica G40; incl. Pera fluviatilis G40, Cy. obliqua G40, Pisidium obliquum G40, Cy. palustris G40]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A79] Ashford, C. 1879. Land and freshwater shells observed in the neighborhood of Redcar. Journal of Conchology 2: 236–241.

[B65] Beetle, D. E. 1965. Molluscan fauna of some small ponds in Grand Teton National Park. Nautilus 78 (4): 125–130.

[BV86] Bole, J., & F. Velkovrh. 1986. Mollusca from continental subterranean aquatic habitats. In: Botosaneanu, L. (ed.) Stygofauna Mundi: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters (including the Marine Interstitial) pp. 177–208. E. J. Brill/Dr W. Backhuys: Leiden.

[C64] Carpenter, P. P. 1864. Supplementary report on the present state of our knowledge with regard to the Mollusca of the west coast of North America. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 33: 517–686.

[E68] Eyerdam, W. J. 1968. Fresh-water mollusks eaten by trout and other fish. Nautilus 81 (3): 103–104.

[G40] Gray, J. E. 1840. A Manual of the Land and Fresh-water Shells of the British Islands, with figures of each of the kinds. By William Turton, M.D. A new edition, thoroughly revised and much enlarged. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans: London.

[G88] Gray, J. 1988. Evolution of the freshwater ecosystem: the fossil record. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 62: 1–214.

[H64] Heard, W. H. 1964. Litter size in the Sphaeriidae. Nautilus 78 (2): 47–49.

[H65] Herrington, H. B. 1965. Corrections of sphaeriid nomenclature. Nautilus 79 (2): 42–45.

[H66] Hubricht, L. 1966. Habitat of Eupera singleyi Pilsbry. Nautilus 80 (1): 33.

[KM88] Kilgour, B. W., & G. L. Mackie. 1988. Factors affecting the distribution of sphaeriid bivalves in Brittania Bay of the Ottawa River. Nautilus 102 (2): 73–77.

[P79] Petterd, W. F. 1879. List of the freshwater shells of Tasmania. Journal of Conchology 2: 80–88.

[PB27] Pilsbry, H. A., & J. Bequaert. 1927. The aquatic mollusks of the Belgian Congo, with a geographical and ecological account of Congo malacology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 53 (2): 69–602, pls 10–77.

[PF15] Pilsbry, H. A., & J. H. Ferriss. 1915. Mollusca of the southwestern states, VII: the Dragoon, Mule, Santa Rita, Baboquivari, and Tucson Ranges, Arizona. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 67 (2): 363–418, pls 8–15.

[P61] Powell, A. W. B. 1961. Shells of New Zealand: An illustrated handbook 4th ed. Whitcombe and Tombs Limited: Christchurch.

[TW07] Taylor, J. D., S. T. Williams, E. A. Glover & P. Dyal. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of heterodont bivalves (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Heterodonta): new analyses of 18S and 28S rRNA genes. Zoologica Scripta 36 (6): 587–606.

[T59] Thomas, G. J. 1959. Self-fertilization and production of young in a sphaeriid clam. Nautilus 72 (4): 131–140.

[T63] Thomas, G. J. 1963. Study of a population of sphaeriid clams in a temporary pond. Nautilus 77 (2): 37–43.

[W79] Walker, B. 1879. Catalogue of the shell-bearing Mollusca of Michigan. Journal of Conchology 2: 325–337.

Last updated: 26 February 2022.

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