Photo by Edwin Miller
used by permission

Venustaconcha ellipsiformis

Federal Status:

State Status:

  • Range: Kansas range map for the Ellipse
    Dark Blue = Counties with designated critical habitat
    Light Blue = Historical records
    A detailed range map may be found in the Mussel Bed
  • Comments: As a full-grown mussel, the ellipse is still relatively small (3 inches). The straw-colored shell has numerous dark lines called rays that radiate from the umbo (the dorsally raised or inflated portion of the shell). It is a mussel of small, upland Ozark streams. It is found in the Spring and Marmaton rivers in Kansas. The male ellipse shell is narrower in height than the female. The larval form must attach to a host fish or perish. The fish hosts in Kansas are the johnny darter, orange-throat darter and probably the banded sculpin.

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Other Gastropods on the Kansas T&E List

Kansas Wildlife Refuge
Text: Ed Miller and Bob Gress
Range Maps and Web Design: Jim Mason

Questions or comments?  Send Email to Jim Mason Spidey
Or write us at: 
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67220-2200             Call:  316-683-5499            Fax:  316-688-9555