Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Species Mytilus planulatus Lamarck, 1819

Blue Sea Mussel, Edible Mussel

Compiler and date details

December 2010 - Peter U. Middelfart, Winston F. Ponder & Des Beechey, Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW, Australia


Miscellaneous Literature Names

  • Mytilus edulus planulatus Auctt. [misidentification].



Genetic studies suggest that Southern Hemiphere mussels of the genus Mytilus include an old endemic lineage represented by Mytilus planulatus and more recent invasive genetic elements derived from Northern Hemisphere elements, including M. galloprovincialis and M. edulus. The characterisation of the group in Australia is not yet resolved; see Colgan & Middelfart (2011).




New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

New Zealand;South Isl, Chile & Argentina (Magellan strait)

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Southwest Shelf Transition (30), Southwest Shelf Province (31), Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition (32), Spencer Gulf Shelf Province (33), Western Bass Strait Shelf Transition (34), Bass Strait Shelf Province (35), Tasmanian Shelf Province (36), Southeast Shelf Transition (37)

Ecological Descriptors


Extra Ecological Information

Occurs in masses on jetty pilings or on rocks; form dense beds on sandy flats.


General References

Allen, F.E. 1955. Identity of breeding temperatures in Southern and Northern Hemisphere species of Mytilus (Lamellibranchia). Pacific Science 9: 107-109 [107] (distrbution)

Colgan, D.J. & Middelfart, P. 2011. Mytilus mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in southeastern Australia. Aquatic Biology 12: 47-53 [47-53]

Huber, M. 2010. Compendium of Bivalves. A full-color guide to 3,300 of the world's marine bivalves. A status on Bivalvia after 250 years of research. Hackenheim, Germany : ConchBooks 901 pp., 1 CD-ROM.

Iredale, T. & McMichael, D.F. 1962. A reference list of the marine Mollusca of New South Wales. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 11: 1–109 [13]

Knudsen, J. 1980. Mytilus edulis L. (Bivalvia) recorded from South Africa. Steenstrupia 6(5): 21-26 [24] (as Mytilus edulis planatus)

Lamprell, K. & Healy, J. 1998. Bivalves of Australia. Leiden : Backhuys Publishers Vol. 2 288 pp. [76]

Ludbrook, N.H. 1984. Quaternary molluscs of South Australia. South Australian Department of Mines and Energy, Handbook 9: 1-327 [148, figs 36a, b, pl. 3d]

Pritchard, G.B. & Gatliff, J.H. 1904. Catalogue of the Marine Shells of Victoria. Part VIII. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria n.s. 17(1): 220-266 [246]

Seed, R. 1992. Systematics, evolution and distribution of mussels belonging to the genus Mytilus: an overview. American Malacological Bulletin 9: 123-137 [123] (distribution)

Wilson, B.R. & Hodgkin, E.P. 1967. A comparative account of the reproductive cycles of five species of marine mussels (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) in the vicinity of Fremantle, Western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 18(2): 175-204 [176] (distrbution, ecology)

Wisely, B. 1964. Aspects of reproduction, settling and growth in the mussel Mytilus edulis planulatus Lamarck. Journal of the Malacological Society of Australasia 1(8): 25-30 [25] (distribution)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
22-Aug-2023 BIVALVIA 22-Aug-2023 MOVED Mr Des Beechey Ingo Burghardt Ms Anouk Mututantri (AM)
31-Aug-2012 31-Aug-2012 MOVED
22-Sep-2010 22-Sep-2010 MOVED
27-May-2013 20-Sep-2010 MODIFIED
11-Aug-2010 MODIFIED