Mussel on the Mississinewa River

What may look like two minnows swimming, are actually membranes of a fresh water mussel that is mimicking minnows to lure predator fish (small mouth bass, rock bass) close in.  When they are close enough to the mussel, she senses their presence and sprays her larvae at the fish.  Some of the larvae attach to the fish’s gills or fins, and hitch a ride for a few weeks while they continue their transformation into a juvenile mussel.  When the transformation is complete, the juvenile mussels drop off of the unharmed fish, and begin their life in the sediments, slowly growing into adult mussels.

I happened upon this rarely filmed activity while wading in the Mississinewa River.  I had a camera nearby and captured this mimicking activity for all my Facebook and Red-tail friends to enjoy.  – Barry Banks.