Blue mussel

Way of life


Blue mussel larva
Blue mussel larva
approx. 0,2-0,3 mm in diameter.

During the spring, when water temperatures rise to about 10-12 °C the Blue mussel begins to mate. Mussels have different sexes, and the male is the first release its MILK into the water. This is sensed by the females by immediately releasing their eggs into the water. A female of average size can release between 5-12 million eggs into the water, where they in 24 hours transform into larvae with a shell, sail and a characteristic black eye. They live in a suspended stage for about 3-4 weeks, whereupon they start the second stage of their life - the attached stage. The mussel starts looking for a suitable foundation to attach itself to. The larvae examines the different surfaces it meets and when it finds a suitable surface, it attaches itself with a few byssus threads. This method of anchoring is secreted from a byssus gland and is used the whole of its life span. The more the mussel is exposed to waves and currents, the more byssus threads it developes. If the mussel should need to move, it cuts off its threads and developes new later. Life cycle

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson