zebra mussel

noun

Definition of zebra mussel 

: a chiefly freshwater Eurasian lamellibranch mollusk (Dreissena polymorpha) that was accidentally introduced into the Great Lakes and has spread to other waterways where it colonizes and clogs water intake pipes and competes with native fish for food

Examples of zebra mussel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Quagga mussels approach an inch in length and zebra mussels can be about twice that size. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Washington state plans to use dog to detect invasive mussels on boats," 23 June 2018 Invaders that are now ubiquitous in the Great Lakes, including quagga and zebra mussels, the round goby and the fish-killing VHS virus, are all believed to have arrived as hitchhikers in foreign ships' ballast water. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Snyder vetoes bill weakening ballast water standards," 29 June 2018 Quagga and zebra mussels siphon in water to pluck out microscopic organisms that can throw food chains out of balance, and their sheer numbers in attaching to surfaces can clog pipes at reservoirs and damage boat motors. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Washington state plans to use dog to detect invasive mussels on boats," 23 June 2018 Quagga mussels approach an inch (25 millimeters) in length while zebra mussels can be about twice that size. Keith Ridler, idahostatesman, "Invent a new way to kill off invasive mussels, and this $100,000 could be yours," 20 Feb. 2018 From eucalyptus trees to ring-necked pheasants and zebra mussels, introduced species often compete with native flora and fauna for habitat and food. Ursula K. Heise, WIRED, "Endangered Species and the Case for ‘Sanctuary Cities’," 10 June 2018 Aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels have caused serious harm to the Great Lakes, costing more than $200 million in damages, according to Molly Flanagan, Alliance for the Great Lakes vice president for policy. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Volunteers, officials, consultants share strategies for healthy lakes," 15 Apr. 2018 Transporting zebra mussels, dead or alive, also is prohibited. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Boaters key to slowing invasive species," 3 Mar. 2018 There is no such hope of eradication or even modest control for Texas waters infested with zebra mussels. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Boaters key to slowing invasive species," 3 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zebra mussel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of zebra mussel

1883, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of zebra mussel was in 1883

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