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Invasive Species: Golden Mussel

Golden Mussel

(Limnoperna fortunei)
*Not detected in Michigan*


Report this species to:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool.

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone -



  • Average shell length: 20 mm.
  • Maximum shell length: 40-60 mm.
  • Shells are golden or yellowish.
  • Dorsal mantle fusion.
  • May form colonies as large as 80,000 individuals.

golden mussel
Photo courtesy of Carlos Henckes, Conquiliologistas Do Brasil.

golden mussel
Photo courtesy of Gustavo Darrigran.

Habitat: Golden mussels are a primarily freshwater species. They are capable of tolerating polluted and contaminated water, brackish water, waters relatively low in pH and calcium levels, heated waters and waters subject to periodic hypoxia through organic enrichment.

Diet: These filter feeders consume phytoplankton, zooplankton and organic matter as adults, while larvae feed on bacteria.

Native Range: China and southeastern Asia.

Local Concern: Golden mussels could act as a host for parasitic infections to cyprinid fishes, threaten biodiversity and could starve out and suffocate native bivalves.

Potential Means of Introduction: Ballast water, shipments of live Asian clams.

Information Sheet about Golden Mussel (printable PDF)