Orb-shell Cockle (Sphaerium spp)

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Orb-shell Cockle (Sphaerium spp)

IDENTIFICATION: Orb Mussels are between 1 - 2 mm across and a light brown or yellow colour. They are small spheres which get pulled through the vegetation with a dextrous muscular foot. The pair in the photo above are actively climbing through weed.

There are several species all widely distributed across Europe in bodies of freshwater from large ponds to slow moving rivers with plenty of vegetation.

ECOLOGY: The young Orb Mussels are quick and dextrous climbers through the vegetation. The older one tend to burrow in the mud or sand beneath. They are suspension feeders, filtering particles from the water for food. When climbing they may attach themselves to the weed with mucus threads. These sticky threads may attach them to the legs of water birds and then become dispersed to a new habitat.

See Swan Mussel and Pearl Mussel

 Classification:

 

 Kingdom

Animal

 Phylum

Mollusca

 Class

Bivalva

 Order

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