New York Natural Heritage Program
Eastern Pearlshell
Margaritifera margaritifera (Linnaeus, 1758)

Habitat [-]
Generally this species lives buried in clean, mixed substrates in fast-flowing unpolluted trout streams and smaller rivers. Since Salmonids are the host species, it is confined to coldwater, nutrient-poor habitats, where it is often the only Unionoid species. Boulder-stabilized refugia containing enough sand for burrowing are ideal microhabitats for juveniles since they cannot tolerate silty conditions (Hastie et al. 2004).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Confined river*
    The aquatic community of relatively large, fast flowing sections of streams with a moderate to gentle gradient.

    * probable association but not confirmed

Associated Species [-]
  • Eastern Elliptio (Elliptio complanata)