Mussel Life Cycle
There are three main periods in the zebra mussel
life cycle: the larval, juvenile, and adult stages. The larvae are planktonic
(float in water column) during their initial three life stages: trochophore,
straight-hinged veliger, and umbonal veliger. Larvae eventually settle on a
substrate during their pediveliger stage, and move only by crawling during
their plantigrade stage. The pediveliger is considered by some to be the final
larval form, with the plantigrade as a stage between larval and juvenile stages. These stages are identified primarily on morphology and behavior and are somewhat variable and overlapping in physical dimensions. The amount of time required for a fertilized gamete to develop into a fully developed juvenile is longer at colder water temperatures and thus can range from 8 to 240 days.