Mytilus (bivalve)

Mytilus is a cosmopolitan genus of medium to large-sized edible, mainly saltwater mussels, marine bivalve molluscs in the family Mytilidae.[1]

Temporal range: Jurassic–Present
Mytilus edulis in the intertidal zone in Cornwall, England
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Mytilida
Family: Mytilidae
Subfamily: Mytilinae
Genus: Mytilus
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Mytilus edulis

See text


Species within the genus Mytilus include:

Human use

Mytilus mussels are widely exploited as food and used in marine-culture. For instance, in California, they have been consumed by coastal Native American people for almost 12 000 years.[2]


  1. A.W.B. Powell, New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  2. Erlandson, Jon M., T.C. Rick, T.J. Braje, A. Steinberg, & R.L.Vellanoweth. 2008. Human Impacts on Ancient Shellfish: A 10,000 Year Record from San Miguel Island, California. Journal of Archaeological Science 35:2144-2152.

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