The glochidium of Margaritifera auricularia is described for the first time by using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and histological techniques. The larval mantle is formed by only two layers of cells; the inner one being much thicker, with microvilli. All cell masses of the glochidium are temporary aggregations that are the rudiments of organs of the subsequent juveniles which will be released after metamorphosis in the host tissues. In the glochidium there are three main masses of cells: (i) the muscle, which is in an anterior position; (ii) the oral plate in the centre of the larva; and (iii) the more ventrally and posteriorly situated ventral plate, or foot rudiment, flanged with lateral pits all bearing dense cilia. No rudimentary organs such as the pericardium, the kidney, the heart or nerve ganglia have developed. There are no visible hooks in the valve margins, but by using light microscopy we observed minute teeth covered by a rim of the periostracum. Near the margin of the shell there are two pairs of sensory hair tufts only observable by scanning electron microscopy. The glochidium of M. auricularia is the largest of the family Margaritiferidae and intermediate between the glochidium of the known species of this family and those of Unionidae.