PORT PHILLIP BAY


Mosquito worm 

Eusyllinae sp. MoV 920

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level description.
Syllidae are extremely common and diverse marine worms which have no common name but might easily be termed "mosquito worms" since their primary adaptation is to have mouthparts comprising a single piercing tooth (trepan) and a muscular gizzard (proventriculus) which are used to pierce and suck out the contents of hydroids, bryozoans and other encrusting prey organisms. The proventriculus has regular transverse bands and is often visible through the body wall and serves to immediately recognise members of the family. The prostomium has a pair of palps and a pair of antennae, sometimes with an additional median antenna. Chaetae often include short-bladed compound forms with a distinctly bidentate tip.

Species level technical description.
Body cylindrical, size from minute to large. Palps basally fused or free at bases. Three antennae, usually long, extending beyond palps. Four lensed eyes and sometimes two anterior eyespots. Two pairs of tentacular cirri, typically long and slender. Nuchal organs consist in two dorsolateral, densely ciliated grooves between prostomium and peristomium. Some species with an occipital flap posterior to prostomium. Dorsal cirri typically long, slender, smooth, or pseudoarticulated (few genera with short dorsal cirri). Pharynx straight, typically with a middorsal, anterior tooth and / or a denticled arc, which might show denticles oriented backwards (taken from Aguado et al 2011 Cladistics 28: 234-250).

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Phyllodocida
Family:
Syllidae
Genus:
Eusyllinae

General Description

In members of this group of genera the antennae and dorsal cirri are smooth, unarticulated. Body up to about 1 cm long.

Biology

There are at least 100 species of Syllidae known from Australia and taxonomists are currently describing more species. Most species will require observation of chaetal structures at high magnifications before their identity can be confirmed.

Habitat

Port Phillip Bay and other similar coastal habitat, inshore and continental shelf.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Worms Mosquito worms

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

sp. MoV 920

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Wilson, R.

Robin Wilson is a Senior Curator of marine invertebrates at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Wilson, R., 2011, Mosquito worm, Eusyllinae , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 28 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/11166

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