There are three species of freshwater mussel in New Zealand. Kākahi (Hyridella menziesii), shown here, is the most widespread. Kākahi once formed large beds in lakes and rivers, and were harvested as a food by Māori. Their habitat ranges from small fast-flowing rivers to lakes, where they live on sandy or muddy bottoms. Known as filter feeders, they get food by filtering particles such as phytoplankton from the water.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Sjaan Chateris
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