Shell medium sized, oblong to ovate, solid to thin valves, sculpture of radial growth lines, umbos smooth but are often eroded, thick black periostracum, interior of valves nacreous bluish to bronze to white, hinge teeth with very strong grooved (serrated) pseudocardinal teeth, anterior retractor muscle scars deeply impressed.
Anatomy: Supra anal opening absent, larvae are brooded in the inner pair of demibranchs, inhalant and exhalant siphons are short but prominent and formed by the mantle edge which is open ventrally and fused posteriorly, branchial siphon larger than anal siphon bearing a variable number of prominent papillae and heavily pigmented.
Hyridella. Beak of young specimens at least sculptured with V-shaped ridges; shell quadrate to elongate (ratio of maximum height of shell to its length >50%), not markedly winged. Hinge strong with grooved pseudocardinal teeth and simple 'lateral' teeth. Shell surface (other than beaks) more-or-less smooth except for concentric growth lines.
Velesunio. Beaks smooth, shell can be rather thick, rounded in outline (ratio of maximum height of shell to its length >50%), often inflated, hinge lamellar, usually simple (rarely serrated). Shell surface with concentric growth lines only.
Alathyria. Shell typically large, elongate-ovate (ratio of maximum height of shell to its length >50%), often distinctly winged, thick, hinge usually with heavy, pseudocardinal teeth grooved, 'lateral' teeth smooth. Shell surface more-or-less smooth, with concentric growth lines only.
Cucumerunio. Shell very elongate (ratio of maximum height of shell to its length <40%), beaks sculptured with V-shaped ridges; rest of shell surface with conspicuous nodules or ridges. Hinge strong, pseudocardinal teeth grooved.
Lortiella. Shell elongate (ratio of maximum height of shell to its length <45%), winged posteriorly, hinge simple, not well developed. Beaks smooth and shell surface with concentric growth lines only. Found in NW Australia.
Westralunio. Shell more or less oblong (ratio of maximum height of shell to its length >50%). Pseudocardinal teeth erect, strongly serrated, shell small (less than 70 mm in length). Beaks smooth, shell rather thick, with concentric growth lines only. Restricted to SW Australia.
Westralunio carteri Iredale, 1934
Original name: Westalunio ambiguus carteri Iredale,1934. Iredale, T. (1934). The freshwater mussels of Australia. Australian Zoologist 8: 57-78.
Type locality: Victoria Reservoir in the Darling Ranges,12 miles east of Perth, Western Australia.
Synonyms: Centralhyria angasi subjecta Iredale, 1934.
The last major taxonomic revision of Australian freshwater mussels was by McMichael and Hiscock (1958). Based on the available molecular results, Walker et al. (2014) pointed out that a re-assessment of Australian hyriids is needed.
Shallow burrower in silty sand/mud in streams and rivers. Suspension feeder. Larvae (glochidia) are brooded in the gills and, when released, become parasitic on fish gills before dropping to the sediment as young mussels.
Mainly live in flowing freshwater rivers, streams and water supply reservoirs. Infaunal, living two thirds to almost fully buried in sand and sediment. Suspension feeders. Dioecious. Brood young in marsupia in the inner pair of demibranchs. Larvae parasitic, using fish as hosts and dispersal agents.
Coastal rivers and streams of south-western Australia.
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Klunzinger, M. W., Thomson, G. J., Beatty, S. J., Morgan, D. L., & Lymbery, A. J. (2013). Morphological and morphometrical description of the glochidia of Westralunio carteri Iredale, 1934 (Bivalvia: Unionoida: Hyriidae).Molluscan Research 33: 104-109.
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Klunzinger M. W., Beatty S. J., Morgan D. L., Pinder A. M. & Lymbery A. J. (2015). Range decline and conservation status of Westralunio carteri Iredale, 1934 (Bivalvia:Hyriidae) from south-western Australia Australian Journal of Zoology 63: 127-135.
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