Skip to content


Photo by Ed Miller
used by permission


Common Name: Pimpleback

Scientific Name: Quadrula pustulosa

up to 4 inches




Blue = current range
Hollow circles = former range


Status in Kansas:
Common in southeast Kansas

North American Status: (From NatureServe)
This is a widespread and common species in North America with stable populations throughout its range with the exception of perhaps the northeastern occurrences from New York to West Virginia. The range of this species includes the entire Mississippi River drainage, from New York and Pennsylvania west to the Dakotas, and south to eastern Texas and Louisiana and Alabama.

Comments: The pimpleback usually has pustules on its shell but sometimes it can be found without this characteristic and the shell is smooth. The overall appearance is circular with the exception of a squared-off posterior margin. It is a common mussel where found and is typically in the top three mussel species in abundance at river sample sites in southeast Kansas.

Fish Hosts: shovelnose sturgeon, black bullhead, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bullhead and white crappie