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Invasive Species: Quagga Mussel

Quagga Mussel

(Dreissena rostriformis bugensis)
*Established in Michigan*


Report this species:

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

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



  • Quagga mussels can reach 2 inches.
  • Quagga shells are more rounded and fan-shaped and won’t sit flat on the ventral side.
  • Colors vary - shell color ranges from almost white to tan or brown, usually have darker concentric rings but are not always pronounced.

quagga mussel
Photo courtesy of Amy Benson, U.S. Geological Survey,

quagga mussels
Photo courtesy of NOAA GLERL.

Habitat: Freshwater lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Quagga mussels can attach to hard or soft substrates in water depth up to 130 meters.

Diet: Mussels are filter feeders that consume algae and phytoplankton in the water.

Native Range: Quaggas are native to areas in the Ukraine and the Ponto-Caspian Sea.

Local Concern: Prodigious filter feeding removes a substantial amount of particulates and phytoplankton. In turn, this decreases food for zooplankton, increases water transparency, and leads to an accumulation of pseudofeces. Pseudofeces accumulation creates foul environments. There is also an economic cost associated with mussel attachment to pipes and other underwater structures.

Means of Introduction: Ballast water from transoceanic vessels.


Status and Strategy for Zebra and Quagga Mussel Management This document provides in-depth information about zebra and quagga mussels in Michigan including identification, distribution, management and control options.

Zebra and Quagga Mussel Invasive Species Alert (printable PDF)