, Volume 529, Issue 1–3, pp 251–270 | Cite as

A revision of some Asian and African freshwater clams assigned to Type=”Italic”>Corbicula fluminalis (Müller, 1774) (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Corbiculidae), with a review of anatomical characters and reproductive features based on museum collections

  • Alexei V. Korniushin


A study of museum specimens of the genus Corbicula from the western Asiatic part of its range (Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia) has provided the following diagnostic anatomical characters for Corbicula fluminalis (Müller, 1774): siphons narrow with circular apertures; siphonal papillae rather scarce: about 40 around inhalant siphon (one or two rows) and 12--20 around exhalant siphon (one incomplete row); ring of dark pigment usually present internally at base of each siphon; papillae of fused mantle lobes and free mantle edge numerous, the first organised in one or two rows; radial muscles of mantle edge well developed and arranged in bands. Presence of hermaphroditic specimens, biflagellate type of spermatozoa indicating clonality, and incubation of D-shaped 190--217 μm long larvae in gills were also shown for this taxon. Two conchologically different morphotypes referred to in literature as C. fluminalis s. str. and C. purpurea (Prime, 1864) show also slight differences in size of spermatozoa and may represent different clonal lineages. The lots from North Africa possess the same characters as one of the Asian morphotypes, thus taxonomic distinctness of C. fluminalis consobrina (Cailliaud, 1827) is not supported. In contrast, C. africana (Krauss, 1848) distributed in Lake Malawi and South Africa and treated in some modern reviews as another subspecies of C. fluminalis differs by the patterns of shell sculpture, the lower number of siphonal papillae, the absence of pigmentation on the siphons and their papillae, and the size of spermatozoa; its distinctness is therefore supported, but close affinity to C. fluminalis needs confirmation. All studied African morphotypes are identical in their mode of reproduction. The new data on the anatomy and reproduction of C. fluminalis show strong similarities between this taxon and the ‘eastern’ incubating species C. fluminea (Müller, 1774), but these taxa can be distinguished by their shell characters. The Chinese estuarine non-incubating Corbicula earlier assigned to C. fluminalis shows different anatomical and reproductive characters and is re-considered as japonica (Prime, 1864). These results are discussed in the framework of Corbicula phylogeny based on molecular characters.


Corbicula fluminalis C. purpurea C. consobrina C. africana C. japonica Central Asia Middle East Africa China anatomy reproduction taxonomy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexei V. Korniushin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyThe National Academy of Sciences of UkraineKievUkraine

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