Developed conglutinates were comprised only of glochidia, which is characteristic of species with membrane bound conglutinates (Haag and Staton, 2003).
We would expect that this number of glochidia packaged in conglutinates resembling prey of benthic host fishes should lead to high natural infestation rates.
The tinted kidneyshell's high fecundity, nearly complete fertilization of eggs and conglutinates mimicking simulid larvae to lure its hosts (sight-feeding, benthic insectivorous fishes) have been successful adaptations in the Clinch River.
Observations on the conglutinates of Ptychobranchus greeni (Conrad, 1834) (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidea).
We used least squares regression analysis to determine the relationship between number of glochidia and conglutinate volume.
The mean number of glochidia per conglutinate ([+ or -] 1 SE) was 519 [+ or -] 41.2 and ranged from 166 to 915.
Although the conglutinate portions that mimicked "appendages" were visible in Sept., they seemed to be more developed in May; it is unknown whether glochidia became more developed as well.
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.
The membrane enclosing the conglutinate was durable, strong, and resisted handling.
The adhesive nature of the conglutinate terminal filament could serve to maintain the conglutinate within shoal and riffle habitats by adhering to gravel, rocks, or other hard substrata as it tumbles along the stream bottom following release.
The conglutinate illustration is by Sam Biebers, Jackson, Mississippi.