California Mussel (Mytilus californianus)
to 18 cm
dark blue with a few white patches
The California Mussel lives within an oval-shaped dark blue shell; the body of the mussel is a fleshy orange color. The Mussel lives in giant colonies.
rocks in the intertidal zone, pier pilings in harbors and docks.
Oregon to Baja California
The Mussel filter feeds from the waves and water that crashes over it, catching nutrients and plankton out of the water as it rushes past.
When born, mussels have a planktonic larval
stage in which they are free-swimming. As they grow,
they find a place to attach and use their byssal threads
to secure themselves to a piling or a rock.
Copyright ?? 2002 Ocean Institute