Quagga Mussel
Dreissena bugensis

Report a discovery in an unlisted area

If you think you’ve seen or caught a Quagga Mussel:

  • Do not release it into the water.
  • Catch it and keep it frozen. If you can’t do that, destroy it.
  • Note the location (with GPS coordinates if possible) as well as the observation date.
  • Contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Identifying features

Similar species (native)

Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

The Quagga Mussel differs from the Zebra Mussel in being larger, rounder and wider. The Quagga Mussel has also a convex ventral surface.

Where it has been found

Quagga Mussels are found to be limited to the southern Great Lakes; Lake Ontario, Michigan, Huron and Erie. They have also been found in the St. Lawrence River and north to Quebec City.

Ecological and economic impacts

Origins and mode of arrival

Native of the middle and south Caspian Sea

The Quagga Mussel, as the Zebra Mussel, was introduced to the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America via ballast water.

Mode of dissemination

This freshwater mussel has rapidly dispersed throughout the Great Lakes region into river systems and smaller lakes due to passive drifting at the larval stage and their ability to attach to the hulls of boats. In addition, this mussel is very prolific and can have profound effects on ecosystems by depleting the biomass of phytoplankton communities, which in turn affect the composition of other communities within the ecosystem.

Government action

Scientific research

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is studying the Quagga Mussel population to improve its understanding of how it reacts and adapts to Canadian conditions.

For further information


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