Overview

Brief Summary

The Mediterranean Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) is native to the Mediterranean, Black, and Adriatic Seas, but has spread (mostly via ballast water and ship hull fouling) to many other regions worldwide. These mussels usually occur in the low intertidal zone of exposed rocky coasts with relatively high wave energy, although in their native range they are also found growing in dense patches on the sandy-muddy bottoms of brackish lagoons (Ceccherelli and Rossi 1984). Although this species is cultivated as food for humans in some parts of Asia, in most of its non-native range it has become a nuisance species, displacing natives, and the IUCN/SSC* Invasive Species Specialist Group has nominated Mytilus galloprovincialis as among the 100 "World's Worst" invaders.

*International Union for Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission

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Distribution

Native range (alphabetical by country): Algeria, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Europe, France, Greece, Italy, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Macedonia, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine

"Alien" range (alphabetical by country/region): Africa, Australia, Canada, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mediterranean, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States (including Hawaii)

(Global Invasive Species Database)

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Physical Description

Morphology

Mytilus galloprovincialis is dark blue or brown to almost black. The two shells are equal and nearly quadrangular. The outside is black-violet coloured; on one side the rim of the shell ends with a pointed and slightly bent umbo while the other side is rounded, although shell shape varies by region. It also tends to grow larger than its cousins, up to 15cm, although typically only 5-8cm.” (IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG))

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Type Information

Holotype for Mytilus edulis diegensis Coe, 1946
Catalog Number: USNM 618884
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: dry
Collector(s): W. Coe
Locality: San Diego, La Jolla, Scripps Institute Pier, California, United States, North Pacific Ocean
  • Holotype: J. Morph. 78(1): 85, 2 pls.
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Look Alikes

Lookalikes

Because the shells of Mytilus species are similar and can vary depending on their environment, it’s difficult or impossible to visually distinguish M. galloprovincialis from Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus. Furthermore, M. galloprovincialis and M. trossulus can hybridize (Suchanek et al. 1997). Genetic analyses are necessary to make a positive identification.

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Ecology

Habitat

Marine and estuarine.

“In its native range, M. galloprovincialis can be found from exposed rocky outer coasts to sandy bottoms (Ceccherelli and Rossi 1984). As an invader it typically requires rocky coastlines with a high rate of water flow...(Carlton 1992)."

(Global Invasive Species Database)

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Depth range based on 45 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 76
  Temperature range (°C): 7.556 - 9.030
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.437 - 0.459
  Salinity (PPS): 18.292 - 18.622
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.427 - 6.964
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.273 - 0.546
  Silicate (umol/l): 18.377 - 28.168

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1 - 76

Temperature range (°C): 7.556 - 9.030

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.437 - 0.459

Salinity (PPS): 18.292 - 18.622

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.427 - 6.964

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.273 - 0.546

Silicate (umol/l): 18.377 - 28.168
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Associations

Known predators

Mytilus galloprovincialis is prey of:
Carcinus maenas
Ciliata mustella

Based on studies in:
Portugal (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • L. Saldanha, Estudio Ambiental do Estuario do Tejo, Publ. no. 5(4) (CNA/Tejo, Lisbon, 1980).
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Known prey organisms

Mytilus galloprovincialis preys on:
detritus

Based on studies in:
Portugal (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • L. Saldanha, Estudio Ambiental do Estuario do Tejo, Publ. no. 5(4) (CNA/Tejo, Lisbon, 1980).
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Liquid crystal forms byssal threads: Mediterranean mussel
 

Byssal threads of marine mussels form quickly via liquid crystal phase proteins.

   
  "In marine mussels (Mytilus), byssal threads are made in minutes from prefabricated smectic polymer liquid crystals by a process resembling reaction injection molding. The mesogens in these arrays are known to be natural block copolymers with rodlike collagen cores." (Hassenkam et al. 2004:1351)

  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Hassenkam, T.; Gutsmann, T.; Hansma, P.; Sagert, J.; Waite, J. H. 2004. Giant Bent-Core Mesogens in the Thread Forming Process of Marine Mussels. Biomacromolecules. 5(4): 1351-1355.
  • Lee H; Dellatore SM; Miller WM; Messersmith PB. 2007. Mussel-Inspired Surface Chemistry for Multifunctional Coatings. Science. 318(5849): 426.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Mytilus galloprovincialis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 132 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GTCCTCTGGGTCTTA---------------------------------------------------GGAGGTTTGTTCGGGGCAAGGTTA---AGTCTGATAATTCGGATACCGCTAGGGCATCCTGGAGCAGTATTTTTCAAAAGAGATTGGTTTTATAATGTGGTTGTTACAACACACGCCTTAATAATAATTTTCTTTGCTGTAATACCCATTCTAATCGGAGCTTTCGGTAATTGGCTGATTCCTCTATTA---GTAGGGGGTAAAGATATAATTTATCCGCGGATAAATAATTTGAGCTATTGGTTATCTCCTAATGCGCTATACTTACTTATATTATCTTTTAGAACGGATAAAGGGGTAGGTGCTGGATGGACTATTTACCCGCCATTGTCTGTATATCCTTATCATAGCGGGCCGAGGATAGATGTT---CTTATTGTGGCCTTGCATTTAGCTGGGTTAAGTTCTTTGGTGGGGGCTATTAATTTTGCTAGGACCAACAAAAACATACCAGTTTTAGAGATAAAAGGAGAACGAGCTGAGCTTTATGTCCTAAGGATTAGAGTTACTGCCGTATTACTAATTATTTCTATTCCGGTTTTA---GGAGGGGGTATCACAATA------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ATC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Mytilus galloprovincialis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 147
Specimens with Barcodes: 176
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Genomic DNA is available from 7 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Ocean Genome Legacy
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Wikipedia

Mediterranean mussel

The Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) is a species of bivalve, a marine mollusc in the family Mytilidae. It is an invasive species in many parts of the world, and also an object of aquaculture.[1]

Systematics[edit]

Mytilus galloprovincialis is one of the three principal, closely related species in the Mytilus edulis complex of blue mussels, which collectively are widely distributed on the temperate to subarctic coasts of both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and often are dominant inhabitants on hard substrates of the intertidal and nearshore habitats. M. galloprovincialis will often hybridize with its sister taxa, the closely related Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus, when they are found in the same locality. M. galloprovincialis is considered the most warm-water-tolerant species of the three, and has the most southerly distribution in Europe and North America.

Distribution[edit]

In Europe, Mytilus galloprovincialis is found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, and on the Atlantic coasts, in Portugal, north to France and the British Isles.

In the northern Pacific the species is found along the coast of California, where it was introduced from Europe by human activity in the early 20th century, and also in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, where it has been subject to aquaculture.[2] It is also present as an invasive species on the Asian coast throughout Japan, including Ryukyu Islands, as well as in North Korea [3] and around Vladivostok in Russia.

Mytilus galloprovincialis is also present as a native lineage in parts of the Southern Hemisphere. In addition there are populations introduced from the north recently with human activity. These lineages are distinguished by genetic characters. No original Mytilus populations lived in southern Africa, but the Mediterranean mussel was introduced from Europe in 1984 and is now the dominant low intertidal mussel on the West Coast. The distribution spans an area from the Namibian border to Port Alfred, intertidally to just below the low tide border. [4] M. galloprovincialis is also found in New Zealand, Australia and South America.

Description[edit]

This animal grows up to 140 mm in length. It is a smooth-shelled mussel with a slightly broader base than that of the black mussel, with which it is often confused in South Africa. Its shell is blue-violet[1] or black, but may shade to light brown.[5]

Ecology[edit]

The Mediterranean mussel is a filter feeder. It is rare subtidally, which is an alternate means of distinguishing it from the black mussel in South Africa.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mytilus galloprovincialis (mollusc) Global Invasive Species Database. issg.org
  2. ^ Thomas J. Hilbish, Pamela M. Brannock, Karlie R. Jones, Allison B. Smith, Brooke N. Bullock and David S. Wethey (2010) Historical changes in the distributions of invasive and endemic marine invertebrates are contrary to global warming predictions: the effects of decadal climate oscillations. Journal of Biogeography 37:423–431.
  3. ^ Mytilus galloprovincialis www.nies.go.jp
  4. ^ Branch, G.M., Branch, M.L, Griffiths, C.L. & Beckley, L.E (2005). Two Oceans: a guide to the marine life of southern Africa ISBN 0-86486-672-0
  5. ^ Day, J.H. 1969. Marine Life on South African Shores Balkema, Cape Town
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