Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Pearson, William D.

Author's Keywords

Elliptio crassidens; Conservation; Freshwater mussel; Fish host; Blue River; Indiana; Skipjack herring


Freshwater mussels--Ecology; Freshwater mussels--Blue River (Ind.)


This study assessed life history components for the elephantear freshwater mussel, Elliptio crassidens (Lamarck, 1819). The main focus of this study was to determine the suitability of various fish species as a host for E. crassidens and to determine the population status in terms of age structure, recruitment and reproduction of E. crassidens from the Blue River drainage of south-central Indiana. General observations on the life history of E. crassidens were made: brooding conditions for release of larvae, larval behavior, and larval shell dimensions. Ages of E. crassidens shells from the Blue River were also determined. A Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis compared overlap in distribution between E. crassidens and potential fish hosts. This analysis demonstrated that percentage overlap between the ranges of E. crassidens and potential fish hosts was not a sound indicator of host fish suitability. However, several potential host species were identified and others were eliminated from consideration.