The wavyrayed lampmussel is a long-term brooder (2) (3). Spawning takes places in the autumn when the male mussels release sperm into the water column from where females siphon it to fertilise eggs (2) (5) (6). Mature glochidia (larval stage of the mussel) are then released by the females the following summer (2) (3) (5) (6). These glochidia are parasitic, and must attach to the gills or fins of an appropriate host fish in order to gain the appropriate nutrients to complete their development (2) (3) (6) (8).The parasitic glochidia cause no damage to the two known host fish species, the smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieuI) and the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) (6). In order to maximise the chances of the glochidia attaching to a host fish successfully, the female wavyrayed lampmussel lures fish close to her using a mantle flap that mimics small fish such as minnows before releasing them (2) (3) (5) (6) (8).
Once the glochidia have developed into juvenile mussels on the host fish, they drop off the host into a suitable sandy or gravel substrate (2) (5). They are typically sessile throughout their adult life, usually partially buried into the substrate (2). The wavyrayed lampmussel is a filter feeder (2), feeding on suspended organic particles in the water (5). Water is brought into its shell and over its gills, where food particles are extracted (2). In this way, an adult wavyrayed lampmussel can filter up to 40 litres of water a day (6).
Individuals are known to live for more than 10 years, but are not thought to live more than 20 years
[ ](3) (6) (8).