Twelfth day of invasive species Christmas: Twelve quaggas clogging

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Echo once again is running the Wisconsin Sea Grant version of the popular 12 days of Christmas carol. Produced by outreach specialist Tim Campbell in 2011, it brings 12 days of holiday invasive species cheer.

Things may have changed since then so feel free to update the song in the comments.

Today: Twelve quaggas clogging

Quagga mussels are now the dominant invasive mussel in Lake Michigan.

Quaggas on a boat hull. Image: Natalie Muth, Utah Division of Wildlife

Quaggas on a boat hull. Image: Natalie Muth, Utah Division of Wildlife

A congener (a member of the same genus) of zebra mussels, the quagga mussel can tolerate colder water and colonize soft substrates. These abilities have helped it colonize most of the benthic habitat in Lake Michigan.  Just like zebra mussels, quagga mussels are quite effective at clogging water intake pipes and other infrastructure. Mitigating these impacts has cost Great Lakes residents millions of dollars.

 

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