learn only 3 things about them ...
| Some species of mussels can bore into concrete.
Some tiny mussels live in a colony of thousands.
can cause food poisoning.
seen? Mussels are common on many of our shores and mangroves,
stuck to rocks, tree roots and other hard surfaces. Some create 'nests'
out on the sand or mudflats.
What are sea mussels? Sea mussels
belong to the Family Mytilidae.
Features: The two-part shell is
generally tear-drop shaped (rounded at one end and pointed at the
other). Although thin, the shell is quite strong. Instead of gluing
down one valve to a rock like oysters do, mussels attach themselves with byssus threads.
Sea mussels are often found in colonies of a large number of individuals. Nest mussels are tiny mussels about 1cm long that live in colonies of thousands.
They weave a nest out of byssus threads and mud. Date mussels (Lithophaga sp.) create a safe hiding place for themselves by drilling into dead
coral and even concrete by rotating their shells and secreting an
|What do they eat? Like most other
bivalves, sea mussels are filter feeders. At high tide, they open
their shells a little. They then generate a current of water through
the shell and sieve out the food particles with enlarged gills. When
the tide goes out, they clamp up their shells tightly to prevent water
Human uses: Sea mussels are among
the favourite seafood of people everywhere. The Green
mussel (Perna viridis) is farmed in many parts of Southeast
Asia. In colder seas, they are among key food sources. Like other
filter-feeding clams, however, sea mussels may be affected by red
tide and other harmful algal blooms when they are then harmful
Status and threats: None of our
sea mussels are listed among the threatened animals of Singapore.
However, like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they are affected
by human activities such as reclamation and pollution. Trampling by
careless visitors and overcollection can also affect local populations.
mussels on Singapore shores
Mytilidae recorded for Singapore
Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist
of The Molluscs of Singapore.
Lithophaga gracilis=^Lithophaga teres
Lithophaga lima=^Leiosolenus lima
Modiolus aratus=^Jolya arata
Modiolus auriculatus=^Arcuatula arcuatula
Modiolus ligneus=^Lioberus ligneus
Modiolus metcalfei=^Modiolus modulaides
Modiolus proclivis=^Modiolus rumphii
senhousia (Nest mussel)
Perna viridis (Green mussel)
(Little black mussel)
Xenostrobus cf. atratus
- Tan Siong
Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary
Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore (pdf), Raffles
Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
- Tan, K. S.
& L. M. Chou, 2000. A
Guide to the Common Seashells of Singapore. Singapore
Science Centre. 160 pp.
- Abbott, R.
Tucker, 1991. Seashells
of South East Asia.
Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.