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Mytilus galloprovincialis
Image courtesy of Bernard Picton and the National Museums of Northern Ireland through the Encyclopedia of Life and the creative commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.
Mytilus galloprovincialis
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Bivalves


Mytilus galloprovincialis is commonly known as the Mediterranean Mussel. It is native to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coast of southern Europe. It is introduced and widespread in Western North America, Asia, South Africa, and possibly elsewhere. Larvae of M. galloprovincialis can settle and metamorphose on a wide variety of surfaces, including rock, wood, vegetation, docks and boat hulls. As they grow, they are attracted to other mussels and can form extensive beds of complex habitat. This species has been listed by the Invasive Species Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as one of the '100 worst invasive species.' However, its economic and ecological effects are complex. In some areas it is an important aquaculture species, but it can interfere with the aquaculture of other species and foul ships’ hulls and industrial water systems. Further, while it has hybridized and competed with native mussels and other shore invertebrates, its beds have created complex habitat and food resources for some native organisms.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT. .
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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