Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mussels and Clams

Quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis ssp. bugensis) and Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) have claimed some territory along the Central Arizona Project canal, far from their native habitats in Ukraine and southeast Asia respectively. A small pile of shells is spread out across the trail after being scraped out of pipes in a water treatment plant in north Glendale, looking quite out of place in this arid scene.

Hitching rides on ships and then on smaller boats, both species have become naturalized in many freshwater systems in North America including the Colorado River and its system of reservoirs and canals. The clams are considered to be symbols of prosperity in Asia and have also been intentionally introduced through the aquarium trade and as a source of food.

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