The spawning cycle of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is amenable to laboratory manipulations. Techniques are presented that can be used to initiate spawning and rear veligers from fertilized egg to settlement stage. Spawning can be induced in sexually mature mussels by temperature flucuations or by the addition of ripe gametes. Embryonic survival is excellent until the straight-hinge stage when the first wave of mortality occurs, usually due to improper food. The second critical stage of development occurs just prior to settlement when mortality increases again. Veliger mortality averaged over 90% from egg to settlement. The results indicate that obtaining large numbers of veligers for laboratory experiments to be conducted year-round is difficult.
Additional publication details
Spawning of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and rearing of veligers under laboratory conditions