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Elliptio steinstansana.jpg
Elliptio steinstansana
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Unionida
Family: Unionidae
Genus: Elliptio
Rafinesque, 1819

36 species (see text)

Elliptio dilatata, museum specimen from the Ohio river, Illinois, US
Another Elliptio dilatata museum specimen

Elliptio is a genus of medium- to large-sized freshwater mussels, aquatic bivalve mollusks in the family Unionidae,[1][2] commonly known as the unionids, freshwater mussels or naiads.

In contrast with many other groups of American Unionidae, the Elliptio species reach their greatest diversity in the Atlantic-draining rivers of Georgia and the Carolinas, and large parts of Florida. One species ranges north into New England and southern Canada, and two occur in the interior Mississippi drainages. Most Elliptio species have elongated shells, with silvery or purplish interior nacre beneath a thick periostracum, and few reach large size or thickness.

The genus name Elliptio refers to the elliptical shape of these bivalves.

As of 2003 there are 36 species in the genus.[2]



  1. ^ "Elliptio Rafinesque, 1819". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b Williams, J.D.; Hoggarth, M.A. (2003). "Morphological variation in glochidia shells of six species of Elliptio from Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast drainages in the southeastern United States". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 116: 719–731.

External links[edit]

  • Electric Elliptio Land. Division of Molluscs, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University.