Orangethroat darter (Etheostoma spectabile) with the conglutinates of
Ouachita kidneyshell, (Ptychobranchus occidentalis). The kidneyshell
conglutinate is one of the most sophisticated glochidia delivery devices known. The
glochidia are enclosed in a membranous capsule that is marked to resemble host
prey such as larval insects or larval fish and attract the host fish. An
adhesive "tail" attaches the conglutinate to rocks or vegetation after
release from the female mussel. When a fish bites the conglutinate it ruptures,
releasing the glochidia, which attach to the gills of the fish.