Quagga Mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis)


Quagga mussels, showing both the epilimnetic form and the profunda form.

Credit: Mike Quigley, NOAA
Where did quagga mussel come from?
  • Quagga mussels are native to the Dneiper River drainage of Ukraine.
  • They most likely arrived in the ballast water of ocean going ships.
  • The quagga mussel was first sighted in the Great Lakes in September 1989.
Why is it a problem?
  • Quagga are prodigious water filterers, thus removing substantial amounts of phytoplankton from the water and altering the food web.
  • Quagga mussels clog water intake pipes and underwater screens much like zebra mussels.
  • Quagga mussels damage boats, power plants, and harbors.
  • They also destroy the native mussel population.
How do quagga mussels spread?
  • Quagga mussels have spread through ballast waters from transalantic ships.
  • Quagga mussels attach themselves to boat hulls and trailers and can be transported this way.
How do we control quagga mussels?
  • Inspect and remove aquatic plants, animals, and mud from the boat and equipment before leaving the boat launch.
  • Rinse your boat and equipment with high pressure and/or hot tap water.

Quagga mussels

Credit: GLERL-NOAA





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