New Zealand green-lipped mussel

Body contents

New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) could outcompete Australian blue mussels and is thought to have similar invasive potential to other Perna mussel species. It has the capacity to seriously affect mussel industries in Victoria and Tasmania.

What to look for


  • dark brown to bright green shell
  • thin reddish brown coloured rays
  • smooth shell
  • evenly spaced growth lines
  • shell thin at edges, thickening towards pointed end
  • straight, proportionally long hinge line
  • up to 24cm long.
New Zealand green-lipped mussel
New Zealand green-lipped mussel

Where to look

Look in or around:

  • rocks
  • wood
  • other hard surfaces.

Likely habitats include:

  • shores and shallow waters.

Similar native species

These native species look similar to New Zealand green-lipped mussel. They do not need to be reported.

Septifer bilocularis

Missing media item.


  • colour varies (red, blue or green), internally blue
  • strong radial ridges
  • up to 5cm long.


  • attached to rocks or debris.

Known locations are northern Queensland, Northern Territory to Albany, Western Australia.

Stavelia subdistorta

Missing media item.


  • brown shell, inside blue–white
  • dense evenly spaced (concentric) grooves
  • up to 15 cm long.


  • attached to rock or debris
  • up to 30m deep.

Known locations are northern Queensland to northern Western Australia.


Report it

See something unusual? Report it. Even if you’re not sure.

If you see something you think is a pest:

  • note the exact location
  • take a photo (use something for size reference, like a coin or note)
  • contact your state or territory authority.


Stop the spread of marine pests

Start with these simple steps:

  • Inspect and clean your boat or yacht. Make sure you check hard to reach areas.
  • Treat the hull of your boat or yacht regularly.
  • Clean and dry your fishing and diving gear after every use.

How you can stop the spread of marine pests.

Your location

Check our marine pests map.

The map shows known pests and pests to look for around Australia.

New Zealand green-lipped mussel

New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus)

Not established in Australia

Features: Smooth shell, dark brown to bright green. Thin reddish brown colour rays. Evenly spaced growth lines. Straight, long hinge. Up to 24cm long.
Habitat: Intertidal and subtidal areas, on hard substrates or marine debris (rocks, ropes, wharves etc.).
Affects: Native species, potentially the mussel industry in Australia.
Movement: Vessels, human activity.