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Zebra Mussels FAQs - 15 Found

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What's unusual about the zebra mussel species?

  • Once they are drawn into a pipe filled with water, they can grow and clog the pipe until the water stops flowing.
  • Females can lay over one million eggs in a spawning season.
  • They attach themselves to a usually hard surface and are difficult to remove. This is a common trait of mussels that live in marine (saltwater) ecosystems, but not of freshwater mussels.
  • They can withstanding short periods (several days) out of the water if conditions are moist and humid.
  • They have a saltwater relative, the dark falsemussel (Mytilopsis leucophaeata), which is native to our Atlantic coast. This relative looks very much like the zebra mussel and is often mistaken for it. Should you find what appears to be a zebra mussel in saltwater, it is probably the dark falsemussel.
  • Zebra mussel larvae (called veligers) are microscopic in size and are undetectable by the human eye. They can be unknowingly transported in boat live wells and bait buckets or anything that carries small amounts of water (even on SCUBA equipment).

 

Tags: Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Native Species, Mussels, Ecology, Predator, Aquatic