Forty conglutinates were removed from the Wolf River mussels (20 per mussel) and used to infest fish on the same day we infested fish with glochidia from the Clinch River for Trial 1 (18 Jan.).
We used 10 conglutinates from each of nine mussels from the Clinch River to infest these species.
Developing embryos and outer conglutinates began to form by 7 Sept., and the inflated gills had some brown color.
Developed conglutinates containing glochidia had eyespots anteriorly and two adhesive tails posteriorly, and resembled Simuliidae pupae (see photographs in Unio Gallery: http://unionid.missouristate.edu/gallery/Psubtentum/fluted.htm).
The number of conglutinates varied among individuals.
Developed conglutinates were comprised only of glochidia, which is characteristic of species with membrane bound conglutinates (Haag and Staton, 2003).
Coloration of the marsupia matched that of the conglutinates, i.e., a red bead along ventral margin, a black stripe above this, and yellow-brown beyond.
Ortmann (1910, 1911, 1912) reported the discharge of conglutinates in Ptychobranchus through the edge of the marsupium.
Luo (1993) noted that conglutinates of Ptychobranchus subtentum (Say, 1825) from the Tennessee River drainage resembled larval aquatic insects, and that the method of release was unknown.
The high level of mimicry exhibited by Ptychobranchus greeni conglutinates, and an unusual mechanism for maintaining conglutinates within host fish habitat, are selective traits to facilitate parasitism and survival of offspring.