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Mytilus edulis:   (click for more)

Mytilus edulis:   (click for more)

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  • Mytilus galloprovincialis  Lamarck, 1819
  • Mytilus edulis galloprovincialis  , , or M. edulis form galloprovincialis (of authors); this suggests that what has been called M. galloprovincialis is probably a race or variety of M. edulis. See sheet Mytilus galloprovincialis and remarks.
    FAO Names
    En - Blue mussel, Fr - Moule commune, Sp - Mejillón común.
    3Alpha Code: MUS     Taxonomic Code: 3161000105
    Diagnostic Features
    Shell solid, equivalve; inequilateral, beaks at the anterior end; approximately triangular in outline. Hinge line without teeth but with 3 to 12 small crenulations, under the umbones. Margin smooth. Pallial line wide; anterior adductor scar very small, posterior large. External ligament much concealed, extending more than half-way from the beaks to the highest point of the shell. Sculpture of fine concentric lines.  Colour purple, blue, sometimes brown, occasionally with prominent dark brown to purple radial markings. Periostracum almost black, dark brown, or olive; interior pearl-white with a wide border of purple or dark blue. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    It is widely distributed in the boreal regions of the northern hemisphere, from the western border of the Kara Sea, south to the Mediterranean, North Carolina, California and Japan; it is absent from the high Arctic.
    Habitat and Biology
    The exact range of M. edulis is not known because of the confusion with other, very similar Mytilus. In Europe it lives on all coasts that have hard substrates.Intertidal to 40 m deepattached by byssus threads to rocks and piers, within sheltered harbours and estuaries and on rocky shores of the open coast, sometimes living in dense masses wherever there are suitable surfaces for attachment.The diet of mussels consists of phytoplankton and detritus filtered from the surrounding water.The dimensions of the species is greatly influenced by its biotope: intertidal shells often remain small, rarely exceding 6 cm, while deep-water shells easily measure 9 cm.
    Attains about 6 cm. One shell of 22,8 cm has. Common between 3 and 5 cm in length.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Natural and cultivated. The exploitation of these beds which was manual until recently developed in a giant industry in the fifties. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 121 964 t. The countries with the largest catches were Denmark (96 215 t) and Canada (11 565 t).
    Marketed fresh, frozen and canned.
    Local Names
    Arabic : Tamr el bahr .
    Catalan : Clòtxina ,  Musclo .
    English : Bay mussel ,  Black mussel ,  Blue mussel ,  Common mussel ,  Edible mussel ,  Mussel .
    French : Moule ,  Moule commune .
    German : Miesmuschel .
    Greek : Mýdi .
    Hebrew : Zidpit galit .
    Italian : Mitilo .
    Serbo-Croat : Dagnja .
    Spanish : Mejillón .
    Turkish : Midye .
    Extremely variable in shape and colour. Some shells have a pattern of radiating striae on a pale, often olive background. Most shells are smooth and relatively thin, but in some populations they have a rough surface due to heavy growth lines. These shells can be fairly thick. The periostracum is often intact, but in some conditions it may be absent, leaving the blue shell unprotected against erosion. Mediterranean specimens are usually large, flat, and have more concave basal line, giving the shell a rounded shape and may regard a separate species, a subspecies or a form of M. edulis . They called M. galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819. M. edulis galloprovincialis, or M. edulis form galloprovincialis .
    Alegre, M., J. Lleonart & J. Veny - 1992Espècies Pesqueres d'interès comercial. Nomenclatura oficial catalana. Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament de Cultura, DARP, TERMCAT. 64 pp.
    Hepper, B.T. - 1957Notes on Mytilus galloprovincialis, Lamarck in Great Britain. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 36 (1): 33-40.
    Lewis, J.R. & H.T. Powell. - 1961Curved and ungulate forms of Mytilus edulis . Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 137 (4): 583-598.
    Poppe, G.T. & Y. Goto. - 1993European Seashells.
    Vera, J. - 1992Diccionario multilingüe de especies marinas para el mundo hispano. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Secretaria General Técnica. 1282 pp.
    Verlag Christa Hemmen, darmstadt, Germany,221 pp. vo. II: Tebble, N.- 1966 British Bivalve Seashells. A Handbook for Identification, London Trusties of the British Nuseum (Natural History): 212 pp.
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