Dreissena polymorpha and Dresissena bugenis
- Native to the Caspian Sea.
- Freshwater mollusks that colonize lakes and rivers.
- Preferred habitats include calm waters upstream of dams.
- Small mussels, ranging in size from 1 mm to 3 cm as fully grown adults.
- Shells can be brown or cream-coloured with jagged brown or black stripes across the shell usually present. Shell is D-shaped.
- Byssal threads (or ropes) are on the hinge edge of its shell. These threads are unique to Zebra and Quagga Mussels and are not found on native mussels.
- Shell may be striped, like that of the Zebra Mussel.
- Byssal threads (or ropes) are on the hinge edge of its shell.
- Shell is more rounded (fan shaped with pointed edges at either side) on the hinge edge than Zebra Mussel shells. Doesn’t sit flat.
- The shells of the Quagga Mussels are thinner and lighter when they live on soft surfaces, and thicker and heavier when they live on hard or rocky surfaces.
Consequences of invasion
- Local extirpation of native mussel populations.
- Filter water to the point where food sources such as plankton are removed.
- Impact fish and wildlife and drinking water by increasing toxic algal blooms.
- Affect recreational activities by cutting swimmers feet as a result of their sharp shells.
- Increase costs associated with maintaining infrastructure related to power generation, sewage and water facilities.
Integrated pest management options
- Prevention is key!
- Clean, Drain, Dry your watercraft when moving between bodies of water.
More information available:
No bigger than your fingernail, these tiny mussels can cause huge problems Shells can be brown with jagged dark brown/black stripes. Shell is D-shaped.
Map showing where ZQM have been found
Zebra mussels have been found in aquarium moss balls. Do NOT empty your aquarium into lakes or other water systems
Zebra mussels cover the shoreline of a beach on Lake Winnepeg
ZQM can quickly colonize important underwater infrastructures
ZQM can damage personal watercraft, as well as infrastructures like hydroelectric dams and municipal water supply systems