Like all mussels, the pink mucket is a filter feeder that is able to extract food particles from the water (4) (5) (7). Water is brought into the shell through siphons (4) (5) (7), and mucous in the mussel’s gills trap the nutrients as the water passes over them (3). The pink mucket feeds on plankton and detritus suspended in the water (3) (4). Excess water carrying unsuitable food particles is ejected through another siphon (3).
The reproductive cycle of the pink mucket is similar to that of other freshwater mussels in its range (5). Males release sperm into the water column, which is collected by the females through their siphon (3) (5) between August and September (7). The fertilised eggs are then held by the female pink muckets until the larvae, called glochidia, are fully developed (3) (5). Once the glochidia are released, usually between May and July (4), they must attach to a host fish to complete their development into mature mussels (3) (5) (7). The diet of glochidia consists of water and fish body fluids (5). Suitable host fish that have been identified are the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) and walleye (Sander vitreus) (4) (5) (7). The female pink mucket is able to attract host fish close by thanks to a spotted mantle flap that is thought to mimic a fish eyespot (4) (5). This is possibly to increase the chance of glochidia attaching to a suitable host fish (4) (5). After around two to four weeks on the host fish, the tiny mature mussels drop off and, if they land in suitable substrate, will burrow into it and continue growing (3) (7). Pink muckets are known to live to 50 years of age (5).
Predators of the pink mucket include the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), mink (Neovison vison), racoon (Procyon lotor), fishes, turtles and birds (3).