Standing Out in Mytilus trossulus

Patches of shiny black or blue-black Mytilus trossulus* show up every once in a while. The patches don’t last long. I’ve never seen an established bed. Their vulnerability to predatory starfish and snails may partially explain their failure to persist.

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Almost every patch has one or more orangish-brown standouts.

*It’s not a slam dunk these are Mytilus trossulus. Three similar mussels occur on our shores, and they hybridize. Blue or bay mussels are the most frequently used common names.

Blending In – or Standing Out?