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Mytilus chilensis

The Chilean mussel[1] or Chilean blue mussel[2] is a type of blue mussel native to the coasts of Chile and the Falkland Islands. The taxonomy of Chilean mussel is controversial. It has been attributed either to Mytilus chilensis[1] or Mytilus edulis platensis[3]


The Chilean mussel is under intensive aquaculture in Chile. From 2004 to 2008 the annual commercial harvest increased from 80,000 to 200,000 tonnes.[4] Following a decrease in 2009, the production was back at high level in 2010.[5] Over 45,000 tonnes of mussels were exported in 2008, 93% of them frozen. Some 74% of exports are to the EU, primarily Spain and France, and 15% to the United States.[4]


The Chilean mussel is part of the world-wide Mytilus edulis complex of mussels, and its taxonomic relationship to other, Northern and Southern Hemisphere smooth-shelled blue mussels has been unclear. Genetic studies of nuclear markers suggested that the Chilean mussel has features of both the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and the North Atlantic Mytilus edulis, but since it is still closer to the former, it was suggested to be considered either as M. galloprovincialis or as a subspecies of it, Mytilus galloprovincialis chilensis.[2][6] Others however have recognized mussels of diverse origins in South America. Borsa et al. (2012) found that most populations in the south of the continent indeed represent a native Southern Hemisphere lineage of M. edulis, named Mytilus edulis platensis.[3] Populations in central Chile show some introgression from Southern Hemisphere M. galloprovincialis, and apparently introduced occurrences of true Northern Hemisphere M. galloprovincialis are also present at some harbour localities.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mytilus chilensis (Hupé, 1854)
  2. ^ a b Toro, Jorge E.; Ojeda, Johana A.; Vergara, Ana M.; Castro, Grace C.; Alcapan, Angelica C. (December 1, 2005). "Molecular characterization of the Chilean blue mussel (Mytilus chilensis Hupe 1854) demonstrates evidence for the occurrence of Mytilus galloprovincialis in southern Chile.". Journal of Shellfish Research. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Borsa, P., Rolland, V., Daguin-Thiebaut, C. (2012). "Genetics and taxonomy of Chilean smooth-shelled mussels, Mytilus spp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae)". Comptes Rendus Biologies 335: 51–61. doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2011.10.002. PMID 22226163. 
  4. ^ a b Ríos, J.L. (2010):Mussels - May 2010, Chile
  5. ^ Bivalves, February 2011
  6. ^ Carcamo, C., Comensana, A.S., Winkler, F.M., Sanjuan, A. (2005). "Allozyme identification of mussels (Bivalvia:Mytilus) on the Pacific coast of South America". Journalof Shellfish Research 24: 1101–1115. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 

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