Establishment of the green mussel, Perna viridis (Linnaeus 1758), (Mollusca: Mytilidae) on the west coast of Florida
AMY J. BENSON1, DAN C. MARELLI2, MARC E. FRISCHER3, JEAN M. DANFORTH3, and JAMES D. WILLIAMS1
1U.S. Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center
7920 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, FL 32653
2Academic Diving Program, Florida State University
036 Montgomery, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2310
3Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411
Presented at the Eleventh International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species
February 25 to March 1, 2002, Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria, Virginia
In 1999, the green mussel, Perna viridis, was first observed in Tampa Bay, Florida. This was the first reported occurrence of this Indo-Pacific marine bivalve in North America. The mussels found in Tampa Bay were confirmed to be P. viridis based on both morphological and genetic characteristics. Since the initial discovery, surveys in Tampa Bay and on the west coast of Florida have documented the growth, recruitment, and range expansion of P. viridis. From November 1999 to July 2000, the mean shell length of a Tampa Bay population increased from 49.0 mm to 94.1 mm, an increase of 97%. Populations of P. viridis are successfully reproducing in Tampa Bay. Recruitment was observed on sampling plates in May and continued through July 2000. The full extent of mussel colonization is not clear, but mussels were found outside Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida south to Venice. Based on these studies it is evident that P. viridis has successfully invaded Tampa Bay and the west coast of Florida. The long-term impact of P. viridis on native communities off the west coast of Florida cannot be predicted at this time.
- Green mussels (Perna viridis) are native to the coastal and tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific region.
- In the early to mid-1990s, populations were discovered along the coasts of Venezuela, Trinidad, and Jamaica (Figure 1).
- The species was first discovered in the U.S. in 1999 at a power plant in the Tampa, Florida area.
- The green mussel is a known biofouler in power generating plants and on navigation aids in Asia.