The remarkable reproductive potential of fresh-water mussels bears testimony to their rigorous conditions of existence. The external fertilization, and the parasitic larval phase are biological hurdles to the realization of that potential, while the settling of the immature bivalves after leaving the fish host involves the many physical risks of molar action and unsuitable substratum. Predation and disease are usual factors acting to further reduce the life expectancy of any animal but few predators are capable of utilizing adult mussels as food. Crayfish scavenge on injured or dying mussels. A snail in the stream studied, Campeloma decisum Say considered a detritus feeder (Bovbjerg 1952), has been observed to be present in numbers of a score or so in a partially opened mussel. Again, their role was undoubtedly that of a scavenger rather than as a predator.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1956 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Bovbjerg, Richard V.
"Mammalian Predation on Mussels,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 63(1), 737-740.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol63/iss1/87