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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Zebra Mussel
Aquatic Species
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Zebra Mussel

Zebra MusselScientific name: Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771) (ITIS)

Common name: Zebra mussel

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  • Bureau of Reclamation Launches Prize Competition Looking to Eradicate Invasive Quagga and Zebra Mussels (Dec 14, 2017)
    DOI. Bureau of Reclamation.
    The Bureau of Reclamation has launched a new prize competition seeking innovative solutions for the 100-percent eradication of invasive quagga and zebra mussels from large reservoirs, lakes and rivers in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. Invasive mussel infestations pose significant logistical and economic challenges for local communities, recreationists, and water managers by potentially disrupting water deliveries, increasing facility maintenance cost, and impacting the local ecology.

Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1988 (NAS Database)

Means of Introduction: Ballast water (NAS Database)

Impact: Competes with native species; clogs pipes (NAS Database)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated:

  • Injurious Wildlife
    DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.
    Includes species listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import, export, or transport between States without a permit.



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Species of Concern Fact Sheet: Zebra and Quagga Mussels
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Fact Sheet: Zebra Mussel | Quagga Mussel (Jan 2014; PDF | 500 KB)
Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).
See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Priority Species: Zebra and Quagga Mussels
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.


Invasive Mussel Collaborative
DOI. U.S. Geological Survey; Great Lakes Commission; DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Zebra/Quagga Mussels
100th Meridian Initiative.

NEANS Panel Online Guide - Zebra Mussel
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Zebra Mussel; Quagga Mussel
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Texas Invasives Database - Dreissena polymorpha

Invasive Species Compendium - Dreissena polymorpha
CAB International.

Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe (DAISIE): Species Factsheet - Dreissena polymorpha
European Commission. Sixth Framework Programme.

Non-native Species Information: Zebra Mussel
Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.

NOBANIS: Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet - Dreissena polymorpha (2011; PDF | 217 KB)
European Network on Invasive Alien Species.
See also: NOBANIS Fact Sheets for invasive alien species of the European region, covering both animals and plants, as well as microorganisms

Global Invasive Species Database - Dreissena polymorpha (mollusc)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invaders Factsheet: Zebra and Quagga Mussel
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Federal Government

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Zebra Musse
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS) - Dreissena polymorpha
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

State Government

Aquatic Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Risk Analysis for Arizona (PDF | 347 KB)
Arizona Game and Fish Department.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species for additional risk analyses and related species information

Quagga and Zebra Mussels
California Department of Fish and Game.

Aquatic Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel (Dec 2005; PDF | 297 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage

Zebra Mussel Fact Sheet (PDF | 90 KB)
Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Fighting Invasive Species: Aquatic Invasive Invertebrates for more fact sheets

Aquatic Nuisance Species List - Zebra Mussels
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.

Maryland Invasive and Exotic Species - Zebra Mussels
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Invasive Species Information: Zebra Mussel
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Field Guide: Invasive - Zebra Mussel
Missouri Department of Conservation.
See also: Zebra Mussel Control

Environmental Fact Sheet: Zebra Mussels (2010; PDF | 87 KB)
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
See also: Exotic Species Program Publications

Preventing Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel (Jan 2013; PDF | 978 KB)
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Office of Water Resources.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Animals for species of concern

Zebra Mussel Information
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Aquatic Nuisance Species Program.

Invasive Mussels: Threats and Prevention Efforts in Utah
Utah Wildlife Division of Wildlife Resources.

Zebra Mussels
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Zebra Mussel
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Scientific review and assessment (PDF | 106 KB)


Quagga (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) and Zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) mussels
University of California - Riverside. Center for Invasive Species Research.

Aquatic Invasive Species in the Chesapeake Bay - Zebra Mussels (Sep 2013; PDF | 127 KB)
Maryland Sea Grant.
See also: Six Species of Concern for more fact sheets

Zebra and Quagga Mussel
University of Minnesota. Minnesota Sea Grant.

Introduced Species Summary Project - Zebra Mussel
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Zebra Mussels in North America: The Invasion and its Implications (PDF | 107 KB)
Ohio Sea Grant College Program.
Provides information also for Quagga mussel

Invasive Species Information: Zebra/Quagga Mussel
Paul Smith's College (New York). Adirondack Watershed Institute.

Factsheet: Zebra Mussel and Quagga Mussel
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information

Zebra Mussels Pose a Threat to Virginia's Waters
Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Invasive Species Fact Sheets - Zebra Mussel
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
See also: Zebra Mussel Watch


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Dreissena polymorpha. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Fact Sheet - Zebra Mussel. USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

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Last Modified: Aug 22, 2018
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