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Zebra Mussel, Dreissena polymorpha


Short description of Dreissena polymorpha, Zebra Mussel

The Zebra mussel is a sessile bivalve mollusc of typically 20 mm (max. 40 mm) length and brownish-yellowish colour with a characteristic dark and light coloured (“zebra”) zigzag banding.

Description of Dreissena polymorpha, Zebra Mussel status in GB

Particularly common in England, but also established in Wales. There have been records from Scotland but no evidence of establishment.

Habitat summary: Dreissena polymorpha, Zebra Mussel

It forms dense colonies attached to various hard substrates via byssal threads in both fresh and slightly brackish waters. Prefers moderately productive (mesotrophic) water bodies, and can be found in both flowing and standing water bodies.

Overview table

Environment: Freshwater
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Caucasus, Western Asia, Russia South, Krym, Ukraine
Functional type: Filter-feeder
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Location of first record: Wisbech (29)
Date of first record: 1825

Distribution map

Map of the UK with areas shaded to show the UK distribution of Zebra Mussel

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

Alexandra Zieritz

Last updated:

August 5th 2016

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