Blue Mussel

Mytilus edulis

Image by ‘Benutzer:Darkone’ on Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Physical: A common bivalve mussel, M. edulis possesses a smooth shell with pointed terminal beaks, edged with small fine teeth. The shell is glossy blue black, and the interior is a shade of violet. Average size is 2 to 4 inches in length.

Habitat: Blue Mussels range from the Arctic Circle to South Carolina in estuaries to several hundred feet offshore. Individuals form shoals by attaching themselves to any solid anchored structure.

Feeding: Blue Mussels are filter-feeders that consume plankton in the water column.

Breeding: M. edulis reproduces sexually by releasing male and female gametes into the water. Fertilized larvae are planktonic and mature to settle onto benthic structures. Mussels live 15 years or longer.

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