Fisheries and Land Resources


scs are second only to arthropods in numbers of living animal species. The group includes some of the smallest and largest invertebrates. Snails, slugs, abalone, clams, mussels, octopuses and squid are all representative groups.

One of the most famous members of this group, the Giant Squid, occasionally washes up on the shores of Newfoundland. Molluscs are often an intermediate hosts for parasites such as flukes, which can infect a vertebrate host in subsequent life stages.

Freshwater Mussels

There are a total of 55 freshwater mussel species in Canada, and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is home to two species: the Eastern Pearlshell and the Newfoundland Floater.

  • Eastern Pearlshell is Secure throughout most of its national range, with records of this species occurring throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • There is some confusion about the status of the Newfoundland Floater. Extensive freshwater mussel surveys conducted across the province in the 1980s and 1990s indicate Newfoundland Floater populations have different life history patterns and glochidial hosts depending on the area of the province and the ponds in which they are found.

2000 General Status of Newfoundland and Labrador's Freshwater Mussels

Order: Unionoida

Family Common Name Scientific Name Newfoundland Labrador Provincal
Margaritiferidae Eastern Pearlshell Margaritifera margaritifera Secure Undetermined Secure
Unionidae Newfoundland Floater Pyganodon fragilis Undetermined Undetermined

2000 Summary of the General Status Ranks for Freshwater Mussels

Rank Newfoundland Labrador Provincal
Extinct/Extirpated 0 0 0
At Risk 0 0 0
May be at Risk 0 0 0
Sensitive 0 0 0
Secure 1 0 1
Undetermined 1 1 1
Not Assessed 0 0 0
Exotic 0 0 0
Accidental 0 0 0
Grand Total 2 1 2
Last Updated:
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