Ronald V. Dimock, Jr.
Thurman D. Kitchin Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
Director, Wake Forest University Mussel Research Center
MUSSELS: guardians of your water quality!!
Design by: W. Rebergen,Delta
Consult,Kapelle, The Netherlands. On the right is a
commercial water pollution monitor
based on mussel gaping. (Delta Consult, Kapelle, NL)
The aquarium facility for housing adult and juvenile mussels in my laboratory:
Chambers housing juveniles in a down-welling system (left) and adult U.imbecillis releasing glochidia larvae (visible as mucous strands from exhalant siphons).
Glochidia larvae of the
mussel Utterbackia imbecillis
with the adductor muscle stained with a fluorochrome
that binds to actin filaments. The valves are fully open. Larvae are about 280
microns in length (axis parallel to the hinge).
Larva at day-4 of metamorphosis (upper left), with adductor muscle gone. Juvenile (upper right) 7 days post-metamorphosis showing new anterior and posterior adductor muscles. The first 3 pairs of gills filaments are partially visible (especially to the right of the mid-central foot). Lower image is of a juvenile 10 days post-metamorphosis, showing brightly fluorescing adductor muscles, some pedal musculature (center) and the heart within the pericardial sinus (toward 4 o'clock, just right of center of image, near posterior adductor).
3-week old juvenile Pyganodon cataracta : anterior to the right, total length about 450 microns; subtriangular part of shell is original larval shell; brownish-green is silt and algae in stomach and digestive glands.
Juvenile P. cataracta : about 5 weeks old. Individual on right is about 700 microns. Note new shell growth flanking foot on animal at right.
10 week old P. cataracta approximately 3.5 mm long, showing well developed inhalant and exhalant siphons. Animal is in process of rejecting a mass of yellow latex beads that it has filtered out of suspension.
Same juvenile as above showing a plume of latex beads in the flow from the exhalant siphon.
The water mite U. formosa on the gill of its host mussel P. cataracta
Photo by Ginger Fisher -- Female U. formosa
site devoted to Arachnology which of
course includes the study of the Acari, the
Order of mites, ticks, etc.
Mussel/mollusc related web sites:
Check out UNIO, a Listserver for anyone interested in the biology of freshwater mussels.
The Freshwater Mussel Conservation Society web site is an excellent source of information, with a lot of great links to useful resources on the web.
A nice molluscan resource site developed by Deborah Wills
A terrific gallery of mussel images maintained by Chris Barnhart, Unio Gallery
Home Page of the American Microscopical
Society AMS, a great place for
Invertebrate Biologists to gather.
An isocrinid crinoid at a depth of 800 feet near the wreck of the "Kirks Pride", Grand Cayman Island. The pinnate arms are extended in feeding posture. Current is flowing from right to left.
Assorted Invertebrates (Upper left and lower right photos by Craig Nelson)
Courses I Regularly Teach at Wake Forest University:
Home pages of a few of my former MS or PhD students
The Who and Where of My Former Graduate Students