Swollen river mussel, Unio tumidus

Shell from George Montagu’s collection (syntype).

Montagu described this specimen as Mya ovalis in Montagu G 1803. Testacea Britannica. Part 1. p. 34-36 and Part 2. p. 563-564, not figured.

For more information see Oliver, P.G. et al. Type specimens of Mollusca described by Col. George Montagu in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter and The Natural History Museum, London. Zoosystematics and Evolution 2018. This paper is open access.

In January 2020 the Montagu Collection was awarded Designated status by Arts Council England. This mark of distinction recognises the collection’s international significance to the scientific community - it is the most intact and taxonomically important collection of British shells of the early 19th century (1800-1816) to be found anywhere in the UK.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collector Excavator
Montagu, Colonel George (from the collection of)
Common Name
swollen river mussel, Unio tumidus
Simple Name
mollusc: mussel
Period Classification
George III (1760-1811)

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UNIONIDAE: Unio tumidus (Retzius, 1788): swollen river mussel