Black mussel

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black mussel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Pteriomorphia
Order: Mytiloida
Family: Mytilidae
Genus: Choromytilus
Species: C. meridionalis
Binomial name
Choromytilus meridionalis
Krauss, 1848[1]
Choromytilus meridionalis, urchins and strawberry anemones

The black mussel, Choromytilus meridionalis, is a species of bivalve. It is a marine mollusc in the family Mytilidae.

Distribution[edit]

This species is found only around the southern African coast, from central Namibia to Port Elizabeth, from the low intertidal to about 10m.[2]

Description[edit]

This animal grows up to 150 mm in length. It is a shiny black mussel which grows clustered in groups on rocks and in sandy areas.[3] It is narrower and blacker than the Mediterranean mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis, with which it is often confused.

Ecology[edit]

The black mussel is a filter feeder that eats floating scraps of algae and phytoplankton. It is threatened by the invasion of the fast-growing and hardy Mediterranean mussel, which outcompetes it for space.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.biolib.cz accessed 5 January 2010
  2. ^ Branch, G.M., Branch, M.L, Griffiths, C.L. and Beckley, L.E (2005): Two Oceans: a guide to the marine life of southern Africa ISBN 0-86486-672-0
  3. ^ Day, J.H. 1969. Marine Life on South African Shores Balkema, Cape Town