Type of fouling organism: Bivalve
Bivalves are molluscs and include species of oyster, scallop, mussel, cockle and clam. All are aquatic and most are marine. Their body is laterally compressed between two halves of a hinged shell. Many bivalves are sedentary with a foot that secretes a number of byssus threads that enables them to attach to the substratum. Feeding is by way of two main ciliary tracts located on enlarged gill surfaces within the mantle which is contained in the shell. Hair-like structures (cilia) produce water currents and trap food particles beating them towards labial palps allowing small particles to be conveyed to the mouth.
Mytilus galloprovincialis is dark blue or brown to almost black in colour. 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 a slightly bent umbo while the other side is rounded. Shell shape can vary according to region between oval, subtriangular or pear-shaped. Average shell size typically only 50 - 80 mm.
Environment and Habitat
- Intertidal to subtidal.
- Reproduction Type: Separate sexes.
- Solitary and gregarious.
- Found on other biofouling organisms.
Effects and Impacts
- Problematic for stock species as can compete for space and resources.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- Range extends north from the Mediterranean to the western French coast and south west shores of England, Wales and Ireland.
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