Integrated taxonomy reveals new threatened freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Hyriidae: Westralunio) from southwestern Australia

Michael W. Klunzinger, Corey Whisson, Alexandra Zieritz, Justin A. Benson, Barbara A. Stewart, Lisa Kirkendale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The freshwater mussel Westralunio carteri (Iredale, 1934) has long been considered the sole Westralunio species in Australia, limited to the Southwest and listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and under Australian legislation. Here, we used species delimitation models based on COI mtDNA sequences to confirm existence of three evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) within this taxon and conducted morphometric analyses to investigate whether shell shape differed significantly among these ESUs. “W. carteri” I was found to be significantly larger and more elongated than “W. carteri” II and “W. carteri” II + III combined, but not different from “W. carteri” III alone. We recognise and redescribe “W. carteri” I as Westralunio carteri (Iredale, 1934) from western coastal drainages and describe “W. carteri” II and “W. carteri” III as Westralunio inbisi sp. nov. from southern and lower southwestern drainages. Two subspecies are further delineated: “W. carteri” II is formally described as Westralunio inbisi inbisi subsp. nov. from southern coastal drainages, and “W. carteri” III as Westralunio inbisi meridiemus subsp. nov. from the southwestern corner. Because this study profoundly compresses the range of Westralunio carteri northward and introduces additional southern and southwestern taxa with restricted distributions, new threatened species nominations are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20385
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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