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Mytilus californianus   Conrad, 1837

California mussel

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Mytilus californianus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Classification Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Bivalvia | Mytiloida | Mytilidae

Main reference References | Biblio | Coordinator | Collaborators

Gallivan, G. and J. Danforth. 1999. (Ref. 312)

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 25.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 95344); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 312)


Benthic; depth range 0 - 100 m (Ref. 95344), usually 0 - 30 m (Ref. 104320)

Climate / Range

Temperate; 62°N - 18°N, 180°W - 109°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Eastern Pacific: from Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA to Baja California and Isla Socorro, Mexico. Subtropical to boreal.

Short description

Shell with blue, black and irregular groove lines. Often create dense mats. Mats can form habitats for more than 100 other species (Ref. 312).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

It has a shell length of 20 cm long (Ref. 312). Found in dense colonies on wharf piles and surf exposed rocks in the mid to high tide zone. Its diet include fine organic detritus, living plankton, especially dinoflagellates; when the water exceeds a certain temperature, often from late May through October, mussels feed on dinoflagellates that make them poisonous for humans to eat (Ref. 312). Very dominant competitor in an intertidal bed. Prefers to settle on other mussels and barnacles, giving it a competitive advantage (Ref. 104225). Predators are ochre star, dogwinkle, and humans (Ref. 312). Occurs from mid to high tide mark (Ref. 312). Life cycle: Egg develops into the first free-swimming larval stage (trocophore) within 4 to 24 hours, afterwhich it develops into a veliger larvae within 24 to 48 hours. The veliger secretes the first larval shell within 10 to 12 hours, which then develops into a velichoncha larvae which secretes the second larval shell. It further develops into pediveliger, with a characterized foot making it mobile to find a suitable substrate and able to feed. It metamorphoses into a post-larval mussel called plantigrade (Ref. 104799).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 114614)


CITES status (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
| FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

Common names
Egg development
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | Check for other websites | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Scirus | Sea Around Us | FishBase | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models

Price category (Ref. 80766)