zebra mussel


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 The widespread invasive species wasn’t found in South Dakota until 2016, when the zebra mussels were discovered in Lewis and Clark Lake and McCook Lake. USA TODAY, "Lobster blood, Washington’s teeth, Hawaii shark hero: News from around our 50 states," 21 Feb. 2020 In some lakes where zebra mussels were once pervasive, gobies have thinned them out substantially. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "These 8 Aquatic Invasive Species are Threatening Fisheries Across the U.S.," 7 Feb. 2020 Mainly because there are so many four-legged and two-legged critters there that like to eat them. Anglers can be their own worst enemies by inadvertently spreading waterborne nuisances such as zebra mussels and didymo with their boats. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "These 8 Aquatic Invasive Species are Threatening Fisheries Across the U.S.," 7 Feb. 2020 If not for some fast action by wildlife agencies, raccoon dogs otherwise may have joined the growing list of foreign invaders that are doing harm here — everything from zebra mussels and emerald ash borer to Asian carp. John Myers, Twin Cities, "Never heard of the Minnesota raccoon dog, either? We are lucky," 23 Oct. 2019 That group focuses on all invasives, including animals like the Asian carp and zebra mussel, and aquatic plants such as milfoil. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "U of M center battles hungry invasives," 2 Dec. 2019 Its source of water is Lake Ashtabula, where zebra mussels were recently discovered. USA TODAY, "Titanic auction, Legos, mighty Mississippi: News from around our 50 states," 22 July 2019 According to the United States Geological Survey, power plants spend millions of dollars removing zebra mussels from clogged water intakes. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "What are Zebra Mussels?," 23 Aug. 2019 Jackson said a recent inspection revealed zebra mussels on screens in the system. Josh Baugh, ExpressNews.com, "Zebra mussel infestation spurs Canyon Lake water utility to ask customers to cut back," 25 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of zebra mussel

1866, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zebra mussel

so named from a comparison of the irregular dark striping on the shell to a zebra's stripes

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zebra mussel

Time Traveler for zebra mussel

Time Traveler

The first known use of zebra mussel was in 1866

See more words from the same year

Statistics for zebra mussel

Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zebra mussel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zebra%20mussel. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on zebra mussel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zebra mussel

Comments on zebra mussel

What made you want to look up zebra mussel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!