What is the relationship between mussels and barnacles?

The barnacles on shells of living mussels were shown to grow significantly faster than those on empty mussel shells. Presence of barnacles had no effects on growth of mussels. The two-species association under study was demonstrated to be a case of commensalism.

Why do barnacles attach to mussels?

They equip the mussels they colonise with an effective camouflage suit and also offer enhanced protection from predators and even heat stress. And, if the relationship is a good balance of give and take, it will contribute to a wider network aiming to understand epibiotic relationships.

How long does a blue mussel live?

The life expectancy of Blue mussels can be up to 15 years but adverse environmental conditions such as pollution will reduce their size and life spans.

Do mussels eat barnacles?

They will sometimes feed on limpets, snails, or other species of crabs making them omnivores that eat both producers and other consumers. Where mussels cannot be found, the ochre star will feed on barnacles, snails, and small crabs.

Do you need to remove barnacles from mussels?

If there are any that are ‘gaping’ open or do not close, you might want to discard them. Barnacles and white worm grow on the outside of mussels’ shells. To remove, scrape off with a blunt knife then rinse quickly under cold water.

What do blue mussels look like?

Appearance. Range from 2-4 inches at maturity, though can grow up to 8 inches. The shell is black, blue-black or brown, tear-drop shaped and has concentric lines marking the outside; the inner shell is white. The ‘beard’ is the byssal threads allowing the mussel to attach to substrate.

Is it OK to leave barnacles on mussels?

Are slightly open mussels OK to eat?

Myth: Mussels have gone bad if they are open before cooking. Fact: Mussels that are open before cooking are most likely still alive. Give them a tap either with your finger or on the side of a bowl and wait for the shell to close up. If the shell does not close after tapping, then discard.

What is the relationship between barnacles and mussels?

So the epibiotic (from the Greek ‘live ontop’) relationship between barnacles and mussels might have a varying impact depending upon the mussel species, and understanding this could help to deal with the invasive blue mussel species.

How do blue mussels reproduce in the water?

The Blue or Common Mussel ( Mytilus edulis) Mussels reproduce like they feed, using the surrounding water. Mussels have separate sexes – there are males and females. In spring, each mussel female ejects about 5 to 12 millions of eggs into the water, where fertilisation by males of the environment will take place.

Where does the New Zealand blue mussel come from?

Mytilus planulatus, the New Zealand blue mussel, a distinct lineage native to the Southern Hemisphere along the southern coast of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. Mytilus platensis (junior synonym M. chilensis), the Chilean mussel: Temperate and sub-Antarctic waters of South America and the Kerguelen Islands.

Where can you find common or black mussels?

The common or black mussel can be found in several species on all coasts, provided a suitable underground is present: Mussels may even overgrow artificial structures, such as poles and harbour walls, even chains hanging in the water.