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Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
608-266-4340

Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra)


Overview

Overview

Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra) is both State Endangered and Federally Endangered in Wisconsin and is found in very clean water of large to medium-sized streams in the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan drainages. It is most abundant in large riffle areas. Known populations are small and local. The known fish hosts are the log-perch and banded sculpin.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.


Documented locations of Epioblasma triquetra in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in WisconsinLE
State RankS1
Global RankG3
Tracked by NHIY
WWAP SGCN

Species guidance


Note: a species guidance document is not available at this time. Information below was compiled from publication PUB-ER-085-99 (now out-of-print).

Identification: Thick, triangular shell with a sharply defined, broadly expanded posterior slope. Epidermis yellow or yellowish-green with green rays, blotches or chevron markings. Males are triangular while females are somewhat elongate. The anterior end is rounded, and the posterior end is truncated in males, but expanded in females. The beak sculpture has three or four faint, double-looped bars. The beak cavity is fairly deep and the nacre is pearly white. 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) long.

Habitat: Inhabits medium to large, clear rivers in gravel riffles.

State Distribution: Occurs in the Embarrass, St.Croix, Wolf, and Little Wolf Rivers.

Phenology: Host fish for this species in Wisconsin is the logperch (Percina caprodes). Breeding occurs from May through July.

Management Guidelines: Habitat destruction and river pollution have resulted in mussel declines. Protection of habitat and improvements in water quality along with restriction of dredging, impoundments, sand and gravel mining, and navigational improvements would benefit this species. The development of fish runways to facilitate the movement of host species through or around dams would also help to protect the snuffbox.

Photos/Video

Photos


Snuffbox

Photo ©  Illinois Natural History Survey.


Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Snuffbox. Only natural communities for which Snuffbox is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Natural community Score
Warmwater rivers 3
Warmwater streams 3

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Snuffbox. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Snuffbox occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.


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Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.


* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

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Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

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Last revised: Tuesday, May 21, 2019