15,000 reasons to worry about invasive species

A day at the beach in Wisconsin's North Woods didn't used to go like this. Candy Dailey spent a Fourth of July holiday splashing with grandkids on the sandy shore of Lake Metonga when she felt a nasty sting on her foot.

Chemical-munching mussels contaminating Great Lakes

Zebra mussels from the Caspian Sea, introduced to North America by accident, are becoming a veritable plague releasing toxic chemicals into the Great Lakes, Canadian biologists say.

Invasive mussels imperil western water system

(AP) -- Two years after an invasive mussel was first discovered at Lake Mead, the population has firmly established itself and gone on a breeding binge, with numbers soaring into the trillions.

Invasive species not best conservation tool, study says

Harnessing an invasive fish species sounded like a promising conservation tool to help reverse the destruction wreaked by zebra mussels on endangered native mollusks in the Great Lakes - except that it won't work, says a ...

Alien lionfish swarm N.C. coast

A handful of ravenous, venomous lionfish, a species native to the western Pacific, were spotted off North Carolina in 2000. Turns out they like it here. A lot.

Are all alien encounters bad?

The pages of ecological history are filled with woeful tales of destruction from non-native species -- organisms that originated elsewhere.

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Zebra mussel

The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is a species of small freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusk. This species was originally native to the lakes of southeast Russia . However, it has been accidentally introduced in many other areas, and has become a problematic invasive species in many different countries.

Although zebra mussels superficially resemble marine mussels in the family Mytilidae, and like them, are attached to solid substrates with a byssus, nonetheless, zebra mussels are not at all closely related to the mytilids; they are much more closely related to the Veneridae, the venus clams.

Zebra mussels get their name from a striped pattern which is commonly seen on their shells, though not all shells bear this pattern. They are usually about the size of a fingernail, but can grow to a maximum length of nearly two inches (5 cm). The shape of the shell is also somewhat variable.

The native distribution of the species is the Black and Caspian Sea. Zebra mussels are an invasive species in North America, the British Isles, Spain, and Sweden.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA