Aquatic Velesunio ambiguus (Freshwater Mussel)

Blake

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Scientific Name: Velesunio ambiguus

Common Name Freshwater Mussel

Other Names: NA

Distribution: All Australian States aside from Tasmania

Habitat: Freshwater, streams, creeks, rivers and billabongs

Field Notes: Similar in apperance to the common, cultivated freshwater mussel. The shell is black and a blunt triangular shape, growing up to 20cm in some cases but generally range around 5-10cm in length. Either side of the mussel is connected by a muscular hinge. Inside the shell is smooth and coated in a white pearl. The mussel inside is similar to the cultivated variety.

They are mostly found around creek and river edges in the soft sand or mud where they can also leave an indented trail. They can also be found buried around reeds and grass of billabongs and rivers.

Their presence in a waterway may be given away by small piles of empty shells on the banks left by water rats.

Uses: They can be eaten raw or cooked over hot coals until they open. They are particularly tasty when boiled in salted water untill they open. Because they muscle passes along of sand a grit they can be rather unpalatable when fresh. One trick is to keep them in a container of fresh water overnight, by which time they will have passed the sand through and provide better eating.

Consider the catchment that these live in (and other molluscs) as they may bio-accumulate such things as viruses, bacteria, cyanobacteria toxins, pesticides, heavy metals etc. They should be cooked at the very least in this situation but this cannot guarantee the removal of all negative substances such as heavy metals.

In a pristine catchment (except for natural cyanobacteria toxins) they should be ok to eat raw.


Source
 
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Hairyman

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Probably best to consider the catchment that these live in (and other molluscs) as they may bio-accumulate
such things as viruses,bacteria,cyanobacteria toxins,pesticides, heavy metals etc.
I would cook them at the very least.
Their presence in a waterway may be given away by small piles of empty shells on the banks
left by waterrats.
In a pristine catchment (except for natural cyanobacteria toxins) they should be ok.
 
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Blake

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Thanks mate, great info on the water rats. I added your stuff.
 

darren

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I showed the girls how to collect these on the Cooper a few weeks ago and they each had a try. They are a bit muddy even with a saltwater flushbut they are very easy to collect. Just on the rats, I am also lead to believe the rats leave them on the bank so they open in the sun, I dont know how true it is but you see a lot of them on on the banks. You also see lots of rats at night.
Here are a few pics
 

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