Mediterranean mussel

Mediterranean mussel

Mytilus galloprovincialis

Common name:

Mediterranean mussel

Scientific name:

Mytilus galloprovincialis

Alternative common names:


The Mediterranean mussel inhabits the rocky shores of the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape. Originating from the Mediterranean, these large smooth-shelled blue to black mussels, form dense beds on intertidal rocks displacing indigenous mussels and other small marine species.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?


What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA – Category 2.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Off the coast of the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape

How does it spread?

Why is it a problem?

The Mediterranean mussel forms dense beds on intertidal rocks, displacing indigenous mussels and other smaller species which inhabit the rocks.

What does it look like?

Smooth-shelled, large dark blue to black mussels. Typically 50mm but can grow up to 120mm long.
The Mediterranean mussel inhabits marine, rock shores and intertidal areas.
Prolific broadcast spawners. Mediterranean mussels release millions of eggs at each spawning, fertilized eggs develop into larvae and are widely dispersed.

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