In 1999, the green mussel, Perna viridis, was first observed in Tampa Bay, Florida. This was the first reported occurrence of this Indo-Pacific marine bivalve in North America. The mussels found in Tampa Bay were confirmed to be P. viridis based on both morphological and genetic characteristics. Since the initial discovery, surveys in Tampa Bay and on the west coast of Florida have documented the growth, recruitment, and range expansion of P. viridis. From November 1999 to July 2000, the mean shell length of a Tampa Bay population increased from 49.0 mm to 94.1 mm, an increase of 97%. Populations of P. viridis are successfully reproducing in Tampa Bay. Recruitment was observed on sampling plates in May and continued through July 2000. The full extent of mussel colonization is not clear, but mussels were found outside Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida, south to Venice. Based on these studies it is evident that P. viridis has successfully invaded Tampa Bay and the west coast of Florida. The long-term impact of P. viridis on native communities off the west coast of Florida cannot be predicted at this time.
Additional publication details
Establishment of the green mussel, Perna viridis (Linnaeus 1758) (Mollusca: Mytilidae) on the West Coast of Florida