Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 The shell is solid, swollen, approximately oblong or irregularly triangular in shape, with blunt umbones. The shell is dark blue or purple in colour, however the perisostracum gives adults a glossy yellow or dark brown appearance. In young animals the shell appears bluish and the periostracum is extended into long, smooth spines. The shell bears clear growth lines, and a sculpture of fine concentric lines and ridges. The inside of the shell is white, with a wide pallial line, a large anterior adductor muscle scar and small posterior adductor muscle scar. Adults are usually more than 10cm in length, although very large specimens may reach up to 22cm.Distinguished from the common mussel (Mytilus edulis) by the blunter umbones, which are not quite anterior due to the extension of the shell margin in Modiolus modiolus.
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This mussel is longer than high, umbones are not quite terminal, attaches by byssal threads to firm substrates, length is about 2-3 times the height, periostracum is usually brown (or black in large individuals) and grown out into long, soft bristles, especially in small individuals and near the margin of the shell. Up to 15 cm long.
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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Distribution

The appearance of Modiolus modiolus at the Belgian coast was very doubtful according to Kerckhof (1980); in contrast with the reports of this species at the Hinder Banks.
  • Backeljau, T. (1986). Lijst van de recente mariene mollusken van België [List of the recent marine molluscs of Belgium]. Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen: Brussels, Belgium. 106 pp.
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Arctic seas to New Jersey; Europe; Arctic seas to San Pedro, California
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Geographical Range: Atlantic and Pacific oceans, from the Arctic to subtropics

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Physical Description

Type Information

Syntype for Mytilus modiolus ovata Jeffreys, 1864
Catalog Number: USNM 197729
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Collector(s): Bedford
Locality: Lismore, Scotland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype:
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Look Alikes

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: M. rectus is about 3x as long as wide and not likely found north of California. M. senshousia is smaller--up to 3 cm long and its periostracum is greenish.
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Ecology

Habitat

bathyal, infralittoral and circalittoral of the Gulf and estuary
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Depth range based on 730 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 357 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -2.2 - 564
  Temperature range (°C): -0.262 - 23.720
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 22.483
  Salinity (PPS): 27.473 - 36.080
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.996 - 7.573
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 1.471
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 20.289

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -2.2 - 564

Temperature range (°C): -0.262 - 23.720

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 22.483

Salinity (PPS): 27.473 - 36.080

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.996 - 7.573

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 1.471

Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 20.289
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Found part buried in soft sediments or coarse grounds or attached to hard substrata, forming clumps or extensive beds or reefs. May be found on the lower shore in rock pools or in laminarian holdfasts but more common subtidally to ca 280 m.
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Depth Range: Usually subtidal. Occasionally intertidal (mostly on the underside of rocks)

Habitat: Muddy bottoms with shell hash.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Modiolus modiolus

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


There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank.   Below is the 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.  Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.

AGACTCTATATTATCTTAGGTGTTTGATCGGGAATGGTGGGGATTGGTTTA---AGAATGTTAATTCGAATTGAGTTAGGTCGTCCTGGAAGATTTTTAGGGGAC---GATCAGCTATATAACGTGATTGTTACGGCCCATGCTTTAGTTATAATTTTCTTTATGGTTATGCCTTTAATGGTCGGGGGTTTTGGGAATTGGCTTCTTCCATTAATAATA---GGTTCTGTAGATATAATTTTTCCGCGACTTAACAATTTGAGATTTTGGTTTCTCCCCTCTTCATTATTTATACTGTTGAGGTCTACTTTTATTGAAAGCGGGTCCGGTACTGGATGGACTTTATATCCTCCTTTGTCTTCATATACAGGACATAGTGGCCCAGCTGTTGACATATCTTTA---TTTTCTTTACATTTGGCAGGTGCTTCTTCTATTGGTGGATCTATTAACTTTTTAACTAGTATAAAAAATATGCCGGTGGAGGTAATGCGAGGAGAGCGGATAATGTTGTTCTTGTGGTCTATGGTGGTAACAGCTGTTCTTTTATTGGTGTCTTTGCCTGTGCTGGCTGGC---GGTATTACTATGCTG
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Modiolus modiolus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Modiolus modiolus

Modiolus modiolus, common name northern horsemussel, is a species of marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mytilidae.

Contents

Description

Modiolus modiolus is a large mussel growing to 22cm (9ins) long though 10cm (4ins) is a more typical size. The shell is purpleish or dark blue and robust, with horny protuberances when young. The two valves are roughly triangular or bluntly oblong with rounded umbones near the anterior end. The annual growth lines are clear and there is a fine sculpturing of concentric grooves and ridges. The interior of the shell is white with a broad pallial line, large anterior adductor muscle scar and smaller posterior adductor muscle scar. The body is deep orange and the mantle is unfrilled. The shell is firmly attached to the substrate by byssus threads.[1]

Distribution

M. modiolus can be found along the Atlantic coast of North America, from the Arctic Ocean to Florida, and along the Pacific coast, from the Arctic Ocean to California.[2] It is also found on the European seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean from the United Kingdom northwards.[1] It is found from low tide mark to depths of 50 metres in British waters and 80 metres off the coast of Nova Scotia.[3] The largest horse mussel bed in Scotland is near Noss Head in Caithness. [4] Larval development of the northern horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (L.), including a comparison with the larvae of Mytilus edulis L. as an aid in planktonic identification, Biological Bulletin, 150, 348-360.</ref>

Ecology

M. modiolus is found growing on hard substrates including shells and stones and the byssus threads of other mussels. Survival rates of young individuals are low but by the time they reach about 4cm long, at an age of 4 years, individuals are too large and tough to be predated upon by starfish such as Asterias vulgaris, the whelk Buccinum undatum and crabs. Juveniles growing on byssus threads are more likely to survive than free living individuals and this results in the formation of cold-water reefs of mussels.[5] These mostly occur in locations with fairly strong currents. The species is tolerant of low levels of oxygen and of a diminished quantity of the phytoplankton on which they feed.[5] The boring sponge Cliona celata sometimes damages the shells of older individuals.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b Horse mussel - Modiolus modiolus Marine Life Information Network. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  2. ^ Abbott, R.T. & Morris, P.A. A Field Guide to Shells: Altantic and Gulf Coasts and the West Indies. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1995. 15.
  3. ^ Schweinitz, E.H. & Lutz, R.A. 1976.
  4. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-16346065
  5. ^ a b Modiolus modiolus UK Marine SAC's Project. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  6. ^ Comely, C.A., (1978). Modiolus modiolus (L.) from the Scottish West coast. I. Biology. Ophelia, 17, 167-193.
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