Page last updated Wed 05 Feb 2020


Image from Center for Invasive Species Research, UC-Riverside.

Use the links to navigate the hierarchy of invertebrate classification.

  Family Dreissenidae

Genus Dreissena

    Species D. polymorpha -- Wisconsin!
    Species D. bugensis -- midwestern North America.
    Species D. caputlacus
    Species D. carinata
    Species D. blanci
    Species D. caspia
    Species D. presbensis
    Species D. rostiformis
    Species D. stankovici

Taxon Information

The Genus Dreissena has been reported (or is assumed) to occur in fresh waters. This taxon has been reported from Wisconsin.

(These statements were generated automatically from the WInvertebrates database.)

Literature Records

  • Dreissena, "fresh and brackish water genus of 7 species" (Graf, 2013).
  • Dreissena, 2 species introduced to Great Lakes region, spreading rapidly (Smith, 2001).


  • Graf, D.L. 2013. Patterns of freshwater bivalve global diversity and the state of phylogenetic studies on the Unionoida, Sphaeriidae, and Cyrenidae. American Malacological Bulletin 31: 135-153.
  • Smith, D.G. 2001. Mollusca (Gastropods, pelecypods). Pennak's Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States, 4th edition: 327-400.

Web Pages

Can Invasive Mussels in the Great Lakes Be Cleaned Up with a Sponge?,
an article summary by Gloria Lorenz, BIOL 490 Fall 2014

Ricciardi et al. (1995) studied the effects of space competition between freshwater sponges and invasive mussels in the Great Lakes to investigate the use of sponges for mussel control. Mussel samples were collected at six sites along the St. Lawrence River, as well as on an artificial reef in Lake Erie. After sponges were scraped off of the surfaces of the mussel samples, the mussels were examined for signs of vitality using valve resistance, meaning the mussels would resist being pried apart. Regression analyses conducted with ANCOVA compared live tissue weights of mussels to shell length to determine if weight was affected by sponge overgrowth. With a 43% mean weight loss of mussels covered with sponges for five months, it was suggested that mussels were suffering from nutritional stress as they were overtaken by sponges. The ability of mussels to attach to sponges was investigated as well. In the laboratory, mussels failed to attach byssal threads to sponges, and in Lake Michigan, mussels were observed avoiding sponges. Therefore, it was suggested that mussels cannot colonize sponges. Mussels aid in the growth of sponges by consuming large algal cells, which allows sponges to take in the smaller algal cells. A different study showed how mussels serve as a hard substrate for sponges by attaching to sand, which sponges would not be able to attach to (Maslowski, 1992). The research on competition between mussels and sponges may give insight as to how invasive mussel populations in the Great Lakes region could be controlled using freshwater sponges.

Maslowski, J. 1992. Bottom macrofauna of the Szczecin Lagoon (north-western Poland). Acta Hydrobiology 34: 253-274.

Ricciardi, A., Snyder, F.L., Kelch, D. O. & Reiswig, H.M. 1995. Lethal and sublethal effects of sponge overgrowth on introduced dreissenid mussels in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52: 2695-2703.

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