Wildlife Survey & Photo Service

Eurasian Mussels

Zebra Mussels

Quagga Mussels

Golden Mussels

Veligers

Quagga mussels on Hydrolift removed from Lake Mead. You can see the waterline as defined by the level of the dead mussels

Eurasian Mussels

The term "Eurasian Mussels" includes the Dreissena Mussels (Zebra and Quagga mussels) and the Golden Mussel.  The Golden Mussel is not known to exist in North America. Native to China, it was carried in bilge water to Argentina in the 1990s. The Dreissenia Mussels (Zebra and Quagga) are both found in the United States after their introduction into the Great Lakes via bilge water  carried in transoceanic ships from Europe.

 

I prefer to use the term "Eurasian Mussels" because it includes the Golden Mussel which as the potential to be introduced into the United States.

San Justo Reservoir boat ramp after water level was lowered. Zebra mussels cover most hard surfaces.

Zebra Mussels

The only known Zebra Mussel infestation in California is in San Justo Reservoir near Hollister. They were discovered in the lake in 2008. We do not know how the mussels were introduced into San Justo. The reservoir is closed to the public to prevent movement of the mussels to other waterways.

 

They were introduced into the Great Lakes probably in the ballast of transoceanic ships. They were discovered in Lake St Clair, near Detroit in 1988.

Quagga Mussels

Quagga Mussels were discovered in Lake Mead NV., in 2007. They were discovered in Lake Erie in 1989 but not recognized as Quagga Mussels until 1991. We think they were transported to Lake Mead attached to the hull of houseboats.

 

Golden Mussels

Golden Mussels were introduced into Argentina from Asia in 1991 probably in ship ballast. They have since spread into four other South American countries. I am concerned because they have a wider tolerance for ecological tolerances than the Dreissenia mussels.

 

Together, Zebra, Quagga, and Golden mussels are called the Eurasian Mussels.

Dreissenia mussel veligers (larvae) as seen under a cross-polarized microscope.

Mussel veligers

Mussel veligers (larvae) are the microscopic form that are transported in ballast, live wells, and other wet areas of watercraft.

 

Various sizes are show on the left as seen under a cross-polarized microscope.

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