Anodonta anatina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae

Scientific Name: Anodonta anatina (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Duck Mussel
Taxonomic Notes: The misidentification between Anodonta anatina and Anodonta cygnea has been always a problem for research; for instance Haas (1969) did not recognize the distinction of the two species. Additionally the species “splitters” mainly from the French nouvelle école have produced more than 400 synonyms(Graf & Cummings 2013). These facts make the study of historical and actual distribution patterns much more difficult. More recently both species have been widely recognized (Nagel et al. 1998; Falkner et al. 2001;) and recent molecular approach has confirmed this fact (Nagel & Badino 2001; Kallersjo et al 2005). Additionally, using these techniques, some strains of Anodonta anatina seem distinct enough to be considered different species as the ones from the Italic peninsula (Nagel et al 1996; Lopes-Lima Unp. data). More studies are needed on the genetic diversity on the fringes of distribution such as Turkey, North and Eastern Russia.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-04-04
Assessor(s): Lopes-Lima , M.
Reviewer(s): Kebapçı, U., Numa, C., Seddon, M.B. & Van Damme, D.
Contributor(s): Van Damme, D.
Anodonta anatina has been assessed as Least Concern as this species has a very large distribution encompassing almost all of Europe and a part of Asia. It has also been described as the one of the most abundant mussel species within study sites in Germany, with 1,000 individuals found in one subpopulation. It has also been described as common in other studies (Hass 1969, Reis et al. 2004, Lewandowski 2006, Nagel et al. 2006, Zettler et al. 2006). However there have been localized declines due to unspecified human influences and in some countries recent patterns of decline have become obvious and it is already considered vulnerable in some regions of Spain, in Austria, and Romania. In Germany this species is protected under the BArtSchV scheme.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs from northern Europe and Asia, below 65 degrees, down to Portugal, Sicily and Turkey. It can be found from Siberia to the east coast of Asia (Haas 1969).
Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Amur, Irkutsk, Kamchatka, Northwest European Russia, Primoryi, West Siberia); Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species has been described as the most abundant mussel species in study areas in Germany with more than 1,000 individuals seen, although there have been localized declines due to human influences (Zettler et al. 2006). It was also stated as the dominant species in three lakes in Poland (Lewandowski 2006). A population density of 4-5 individuals per m2 can be found in subsidence reservoirs in south Poland (Lewin and Smolinski 2006). However, in some countries a recent pattern of decline has become obvious and is already considered vulnerable in Austria (Reischütz and Reischütz 2007) and Romania (Sárkány-Kiss 2003) and Near Threatened in Spain (Verdu and Galante 2006).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a generalist species which can be found inhabiting both flowing streams and standing waters. As a generalist, it is able to exist in both oligotrophic and eutrophic waters (Zettler et al. 2006). Ponds, flood plains, rivers, lakes and river basins all provide suitable habitat for this species (Killeen et al. 2004) and it is also capable of living in artificial freshwater habitats such as reservoirs, flooded gravel pits and fishponds (Nagel et al. 2006). It lives in areas with sandy and gravel substrate (Bauer and Wächtler 2001). The species was thought to use a wide range of fish species as hosts for larvae metamorphosis; however recent studies pointed that only native fish species are good hosts (Douda et al. 2013) indicating that the changes in the fish fauna are additional threats for local populations of this bivalve.
Generation Length (years):15

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

No current specific threats have been reported. However, there are indications that in some places (e.g. Italy and Hungary), the observed declines may be caused by competition with the invasive Sinanodonta woodiana (Lopes-Lima pers. obs.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species is protected under the BArtSchV German scheme (Zettler et al. 2006) and is present in a protected area in Poland (Lewandowski 2006). There are no other known conservation measures for this species.

Further research is currently needed on the species' global population to assess the impacts of the documented threat processes. 

Citation: Lopes-Lima , M. 2014. Anodonta anatina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T155667A21400363. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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