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California Mussels

Mytilus californianus


The California mussel (pictured with 2 different types of barnacles) (Mytilus californianus) is a large edible mussel, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mytilidae. The shell of this species is thick and is often 80 to 130 mm in length, sometimes larger still. The shell is blue on the outside with a heavy brown periostracum which is usually worn off except near the growing edge of the shell. The beaks of the shell are often eroded. The shell has coarse radial ribbing and irregular growth lines on the outer surface. The inner surface of the shell is blue and faintly pearly. Like other mytilids, the animal is attached to the substrate with a very strong and elastic byssus.


2nd photo Foraged from Enderts Beach, Crescent City California USA and cooked in coconut oil with all foraged foods wild onions, fiddle heads (baby ferns curled up) and rosemary~amazing.


While these mussels are usually edible, care needs to be taken in warm months during times of red tide in any given locality, California mussels may contain harmful levels of the toxins which can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Seen here with Pollicipes pollicipes AKA Gooseneck barnacle, (Edible) and Acorn Barnacles (Not edible.). Also not in this photo is another edible, Lepas anatifera I have a separate photo of that.

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1 Comment

maplemoth662 2 years ago

Four, very pretty photos....

Spotted by

California, USA

Spotted on Mar 22, 2018
Submitted on Mar 22, 2018

Spotted for Mission

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