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zebra and quagga mussels


Black and Caspian Sea in Europe


Zebra Mussels are usually less than one inch long, and have a D shaped shell, while quagga mussels are slightly larger had have a rounded shell. Coloration varies from solid light brown to dark brown or striped.


They can reach high densities causing problems for water intakes, docks, boat motors, and infrastructure. They filter vast quantities of water for microscopic organism, potentially altering the entire food web within a water body. These mussels cannot be controlled once they establish themselves in a body of water.
Image of Zebra/Quagga Mussels on Motor

Range Expansion:

Zebra and quagga mussels are most commonly spread by human transport by recreational equipment. Just because you can't see the mussels doesn't mean they aren't there. Mussel larvae can only be identified with the use of a microscope.

South Dakota Distribution:

Quagga mussel veligers were found in Angostura Reservoir in September 2014. 

At this time, Angostura Reservoir is designated as suspect for quagga mussels. Additional sampling is currently underway by GFP and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. A second positive sample must be obtained before the water is listed as positive for the presence of quagga mussels.