Golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei)

Golden mussel Description: It was introduced into Argentina in 1991. Within a decade it had spread to four other South American countries. Introduction to North America is predicted.

Identification: Golden or yellowish in color, shell length of about 20 mm. is common, while a maximum length is about 40mm. - 60mm. Umbones very nearly terminal, dorsal ligament margin is nearly straight. Does not posses hinge teeth or byssal notch. Mantle fusion occurs dorsally.

Habitat: Native to China and southeastern Asia. Prefers freshwater lakes, rivers and estuaries. Tolerant of polluted and contaminated waters.

Reproduction: External fertilization, larval stage is 30-70 days. Life cycle rarely exceeds 2-3 years but can reach 5-10 years of age in its native region. Spawning occurs 1-2 times per year in water temps between 16-28 degrees C.

Impact and Damage: High filtration rates which can reduce phytoplankton, suppress zooplankton populations, outcompete native species for available food, increase sedimentation rates and alter contaminant and nutrient cycling.

Similar species: False dark mussel (Mytilopsis leucophaeata), Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and Quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis).

Monitoring and rapid response: Desiccation, predation by fish such as Leporinus obtusidens; Chemicals, including chlorine, are effective in controlling larvae within facilities, but are not often used due to resulting complications with their uses. Also physical removal of mussels is effective in controling populations.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Golden mussel

Scientific Name:

Limnoperna fortunei


(Sea mussel)