DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThe Purple Bankclimber is known from 68 historical collections representing 25 occurrences in the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint (ACF) rivers in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, and from nine occurrences in the Ochlockonee River system in Florida and Georgia. Heard (1979) reported one shell of Elliptoideus from the Escambia River, near Century, Florida, but in Deyrup and Franz (1994), it was stated this record was based on the conchologically similar Plectomerus dombeyanus. It is known from fossil records from two additional Florida drainages (Bogan and Portell 1995, J. D. Williams pers. comm. 2010). It appears to be very rare or extirpated from the Chipola and Chattahoochee rivers. One specimen was recorded from the Chattahoochee in December of 2000, prior to that it had not been recorded since the 1800s. The last record from the Chipola River was in 1988 (Brim Box and Williams 2000). The range is likely to extend over an area of up to 45,000 km2, but because of the disjointed distribution of this species, taking discontinuities and only partially occupied basins into account makes the estimated range much smaller than this, and more in the region of no more than 5,000 km2 (NatureServe 2009).
The species once occurred in 737 river miles within the ACF and Ochlockonee river basins. It has lost 39% of its range (from 737 to 453 river miles) (USFWS 2003).