The Mytilidae are a family of small to large saltwater mussels, marine bivalve mollusks in the order Mytiloida. One of the genera, Limnoperna, inhabits brackish or freshwater environments. The order has only this one family which contains some 52 genera.
Species in the family Mytilidae are found worldwide, but they are more abundant in colder seas, where they often form uninterrupted beds on rocky shores in the intertidal zone and the shallow subtidal. The subfamily Bathymodiolinae is found in deep-sea habitats.
Mytilids include the well-known edible sea mussels.
|Two shells of Mytilus edulis washed up on a beach|
52, See text.
Genera within the family Mytilidae include:
Amygdalum is a genus of saltwater mussels, marine bivalve mollusks in the family Mytilidae, the true mussels.Aulacomya atra
Aulacomya atra (often misspelled Aulacomya ater), called also the Magellan mussel or the ribbed mussel, is a southern species of edible saltwater mussel, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mytilidae, the true mussels. Note that the common name ribbed mussel is also used of the Northern Hemisphere mussel Geukensia demissa.
Aulacomya atra is native in South America - in Peru, Chile (where it grows up to 170 mm in length), the Falkland Islands and Argentina. It is also found on the coasts of New Zealand and Southern Africa, from Namibia to Port Alfred, South Africa, from the intertidal to 40 m. Introduced specimens have been found in Moray Firth, Scotland, Europe.
In Southern Africa the species grows up to 90 mm in length. It usually lives in crowded intertidal beds. Individual animals have brown ribbed shells, which darken to black with age.Botula
Botula is a genus of mussels in the family Mytilidae.Brachidontes
Brachidontes is a genus of mussels in the family Mytilidae.Crenella (bivalve)
Crenella is a genus of bean mussels in the family Mytilidae.Geukensia
Geukensia is a genus of marine bivalve mollusc in the Mytilidae family, naturally found in the western Atlantic.Gregariella
Gregariella is a genus of mussels in the family Mytilidae.Ischadium
Ischadium is a genus of mussels in the family Mytilidae.Lithophaga
Lithophaga, the date mussels, are a genus of medium-sized marine bivalve molluscs in the family Mytilidae. Some of the earliest fossil Lithophaga shells have been found in Mesozoic rocks from the Alps and from Vancouver Island,The shells of species in this genus are long and narrow with parallel sides. The animals bore into stone or coral rock with the help of pallial gland secretions, hence the systematic name Lithophaga, which means "stone-eater". Their club-shaped borings are given the trace fossil name Gastrochaenolites.Lithophaga lithophaga
Lithophaga lithophaga, also known as date shell or date mussel, is a species of Bivalvia belonging to the family Mytilidae.Mediterranean mussel
The Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) is a species of bivalve, a marine mollusc in the family Mytilidae. It is an invasive species in many parts of the world, and also an object of aquaculture.Modiolus (bivalve)
Modiolus, the horsemussels, are a genus of medium-sized marine bivalve molluscs in the family Mytilidae.Modiolus modiolus
Modiolus modiolus, common name northern horsemussel, is a species of marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mytilidae.Musculus (bivalve)
Musculus is a genus of mussels in the family Mytilidae.Musculus lateralis
Musculus lateralis, common name the lateral mussel, is a small species of bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae. It can be found along the Atlantic coast of North America, ranging from North Carolina to the West Indies and Brazil.Mytilus (bivalve)
Mytilus is a cosmopolitan genus of medium to large-sized edible, mainly saltwater mussels, marine bivalve molluscs in the family Mytilidae.Perna canaliculus
The New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), also known as the New Zealand mussel, the greenshell mussel, kuku, and kutai, is a bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae (the true mussels). P. canaliculus has economic importance as a cultivated species in New Zealand.Perna perna
Perna perna (brown mussel) is an economically important mussel, a bivalve mollusc belonging to the family Mytilidae. It is harvested as a food source but is also known to harbor toxins and cause damage to marine structures. It is native to the waters of Africa, Europe, and South America and was introduced in the waters of North America.Perna viridis
Perna viridis, known as the Asian green mussel, is an economically important mussel, a bivalve belonging to the family Mytilidae. It is harvested for food but is also known to harbor toxins and cause damage to submerged structures such as drainage pipes. It is native in the Asia-Pacific region but has been introduced in the Caribbean, and in the waters around Japan, North America, and South America.