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Phylum Mollusca > Class Bivalvia > Family Mytilidae
Little black mussel
Xenostrobus sp.
Family Mytilidae
updated May 2020
Where seen? This tiny black mussel is sometimes seen in clusters of many individuals on large boulders at the midwater mark. Grows among oysters, barnacles and other encrusting animals there. Dull greyish ones are sometimes seen in small clusters on mangrove trees and their roots in the mangroves. These may be Xenostrobus cf. atratus.

Features: 1-2cm long. The two-part shell is shiny black, thin, fragile and smooth. Those growing on rocks produce byssus threads, sometimes these form a kind of nest in which the tiny mussels are embedded. But the 'nest' is not as thick and spongy as the mats created by Nest mussels.

Shiny black ones on a large boulder among oysters.
Chek Jawa, Jan 08

Greyish ones on mangrove roots
Lim Chu Kang, Aug 05

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 08

Byssus threads form a kind of nest.
Chek Jawa, Jan 08

Pulau Ubin, Jan 10

Little black mussels on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Punggol, Dec 10
Shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.



  • 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.
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