quagga mussel


plural quagga mussels
: a small, freshwater, lamellibranch mollusk (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis synonym Dreissena rostriformis) native to the Dnieper river and its tributaries that has been introduced into the Great Lakes and other waterways where it colonizes and clogs water intake pipes, competes with native fish for food, and disrupts food webs by consuming phytoplankton
The mussel-coated debris is unmistakable evidence of an event occurring silently and largely out of sight—the colonization of the Colorado River by the quagga mussel, a fingernail-size Eurasian bivalve with an astonishing sex drive and a nasty reputation for causing economic and ecological havoc.John Collins Rudolf
Less than four years after that reassuring report, quagga mussels have gone from a rare find on the bottom of Lake Michigan to its dominant invasive mussel. Along the way, they have done what many invasion biologists thought would be impossible: They have nearly annihilated Lake Michigan's zebra mussel population.Dan Egan

Examples of quagga mussel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With up to 10,000 mussels per square meter, quagga mussels have the potential to filter the entire lake in about 10 days, Bootsma said. Caitlin Looby, Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2024 None has had the impact, however, of quagga mussels. Caitlin Looby, Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2024 The robot’s camera captured a vessel covered in quagga mussels resting on the lake bed about 280 feet below the surface. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 Researchers say the clock is ticking for many of these wrecks, which are being damaged by invasive zebra mussels and quagga mussels. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Oct. 2023 Furthermore, quagga mussels have even largely outcompeted zebra mussels, another notorious invasive species that once also caused substantial problems in Lake Michigan, Fenske said. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 25 Aug. 2023 The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and state Department of Agriculture have been using DNA testing to monitor sewer systems for zebra mussels and the similarly invasive quagga mussel. From Usa Today Network and Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 4 June 2021 For example, the invasive quagga mussel, which has drastically changed the food webs, still dominates the lake bottoms. Caitlin Looby, Journal Sentinel, 12 Aug. 2022 There are several ways his research could help Reclamation keep quagga mussel populations under control. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quagga mussel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after zebra mussel, the quagga mussel being less markedly striped, and hence comparable to the quagga in relation to the zebra

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quagga mussel was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near quagga mussel

Cite this Entry

“Quagga mussel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quagga%20mussel. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

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