Venustaconcha are small lampsilines that are typically found in headwater streams and that  utilize darters and sculpins as hosts.  The lure of Venustaconcha pleasii consists of a small mantle flap fringed with papillae.  The flaps periodically flip closed and open, revealing the marsupial gills within.  This movement is very responsive to disturbances such as shadows and vibration.

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two species.jpg (55606 bytes) Venustaconcha ellipsiformis is widespread in the upper Mississippi basinVenustaconcha pleasii is an Ozark endemic, found only in the White River basin.
venuslure.jpg (54822 bytes) Venustaconcha pleasii. Ventral view, showing mantle flaps.  Click here for video of lure display (this one is X-rated).  File size is 2.8 megabytesThe structure attached to the shell on the upper left is a caddisfly case.

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