Tag Archives: Virginia

Plagiochila columbiana Evans

Columbian Livermoss (Plagiochila columbiana)

The Columbian Livermoss was described in 1896 based on material that had been collected from partly inundated rocks in- and along the Eno River in North Carolina; it was furthermore recorded from Virginia and Washington D.C.. 

The taxon is superficially similar to Fern-like Livermoss (Plagiochila asplenioides (L.) Dumort.) but can be distinguished from that species by the ragged outlines of its leaves and by the irregularity in the number and position of their teeth; however, it is very likely that both forms are conspecific after all and that the Columbian Livermoss’s description was just based on weakly-developed specimens of the other species.


Depiction from: ‘Alexander W. Evans: Notes on the North American species of Plagiochila. Botanical Gazette 21(4): 185-194. 1896’

(public domain)



[1] Alexander W. Evans: Notes on the North American species of Plagiochila. Botanical Gazette 21(4): 185-194. 1896


edited: 27.02.2024

Acroneuria flinti Stark & Gaufin

Flint’s Common Stonefly (Acroneuria flinti)  

Flint’s Common Stonefly, described in 1976, is known only from the type locality, a stream in Fairfax County in northern Virginia, USA, where the species apparently was collected once in 1962.

Any efforts to relocated the species were unsuccessful so far and it might indeed be extinct.


edited: 18.09.2019

Coptotriche perplexa (Braun)

Chestnut Clearwing Moth (Coptotriche perplexa)

The Chestnut Clearwing Moth, as its vernacular name implies, was adapted to the American Chestnut tree (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.) as its sole larval host plant. The populations of that tree species broke down after the introduction of a fatal disease, the chestnut blight, caused by a fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica(Murrill) M. E. Barr), that was accidently brought to northern America in the 19th century. The loss of large stands of American Chestnut led to the extinction of several insect species that had adapted to them as their host plant.

This species, however, is only known from the type series, and was only aver found near Falls Church in Virginia; it may turn out to be identical with (Coptotricha zelleriella (Clemens)), a very widespread species that appears not to be adapted to any specific plant species.


Photo: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

(under creative commons license (3.0))


edited: 23.04.2022

Epioblasma haysiana (Lea)

Acornshell (Epioblasma haysiana)

The Acornshell aka. Acorn Pearly Mussel was described in 1834; this species inhabited the drainages of the Cumberland- and the Tennessee Rivers in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, USA.

The species died out due to habitat destruction and pollution; the last known individuals died in the 1970s due to exposure to domestic sewage.


Photo from: ‘Paolo G. Albano; Barbara Bongiovanni; Pamela D’Occhio; Bruno Sabelli: Natural history museums as repositories of endangered diversity: the case of the United States Unionida in the Museo di Zoologia dell’Università di Bologna. Zoosystematics and Evolution 90(2): 105-111. 2014’



edited: 17.08.2022

Epioblasma lewisii (Walker)

Lewis’ Pearly Mussel (Epioblasma lewisii)

Lewis’ Pearly Mussel, also known as Forkshell, was once widespread over a large area in the Cumberland and Tennessee River systems. 

The species is only known from empty shells, with the exception of a single specimen with preserved soft parts. 

The larvae of the vast majority of the freshwater mussel species live parasitically in the gills of various river fish. However, nothing is usually known about the symbiotic relationships of the extinct species.


syn. Dysnomia lewisi Walker, Plagiola lewisi (Walker), Truncilla lewisi (Walker)


Photo: ‘Bryant Walker: Description of a new species of Truncatilla. The Nautilus 24: 42-44. 1910’

(not in copyright)


edited: 01.03.2024