PORT PHILLIP BAY


Green Spoon Worm 

Metabonellia haswelli (Johnston & Tiegs)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level description.
Members of Bonellidae (and related families of spoon worms) are soft bodied sac-like worms with a very long extensible proboscis. There is no external evidence of segmentation. They have a dark green pigment and if handled live will temporarily stain fingers.

Species level technical description.
Body dark green with paler warty swellings. Two ventral chaetae just posterior to the mouth, but these are difficult to see except in dissection. Proboscis forked, terminal arms shorter than stem.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Unplaced
Family:
Unplaced
Genus:
Metabonellia
Species:
haswelli

General Description

In members of this genus the proboscis is forked, with the terminal branches shorter than the basal part (other spoon worms in this part of Australia have unbranched proboscis). Body up to about 8 cm long.

Biology

Spoon worms were previously classified in their own Phylum: Echiura. However, recent DNA studies have shown that these worms are modified polychaetes with very reduced chaetae and segmentation and they are now grouped in the Phylum Annelida.

Habitat

Under stones, usually in muddy, sheltered habitats.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Worms Spoon worms

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

8 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1756

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, Green Spoon Worm, Metabonellia haswelli, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 26 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/11173

Text: creative commons cc by licence