Previously suggested Cyprinid host-fish for the state threatened Texas pigtoe (Fusconaia askewi) and Louisiana pigtoe (Pleurobema riddelli) of East Texas were investigated. The Red shiner, Blacktail shiner, and Bullhead minnow were targeted as potential hosts. The viability of these fish as hosts was tested by collecting them from three different rivers of East Texas and housing them in an Aquatic Habitat Tank System (AHAB) to allow the natural development and release of glochidia or juvenile mussels that were attached to the fish in the wild. Juvenile mussels were molecularly identified with amplification of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) using the ND1 gene. The DNA was sequenced and compared to the NCBI database and cross-referenced with an adult molecular key that was created for all 37 mussel species that occur in East Texas. Fifteen juveniles were successfully sequenced. All 15 naturally released from both Red shiners and Blacktail shiners that were collected from all three rivers and were identified as F. askewi. The Red shiner and Blacktail shiner have been confirmed hosts for F. askewi and the Bullhead minnow was rejected as a host for F. askewi. In addition, glochidial release dates and the rate of metamorphosis for F. askewi was estimated.

Date of publication

Spring 5-27-2015

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