White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery
Northeast Region

Life History

Diagram of mussel life cycleFreshwater mussels have a complex and fascinating life cycle. Juvenile mussels undergo metamorphosis much like a butterfly and they must attach themselves to a fish in order to complete the metamorphosis. How do freshwater mussels attract the fish? Adult female mussels which brood the larval mussels in their gills have evolved an elaborate system of fishing lures that draw the host fish up close, increasing the chance of attachment. Follow this link to read more about the life history of freshwater mussels. To see some cool photos and videos of mussel life history go to the Unio Gallery.






Last updated: September 3, 2010
White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery
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