Bivalvia | Mytiloida
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
Eastern Pacific: from Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA to Baja California and Isla Socorro, Mexico. Subtropical to boreal.
Shell with blue, black and irregular groove lines. Often create dense mats. Mats can form habitats for more than 100 other species (Ref. 312).
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)
Threat to humans
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Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models