PORT PHILLIP BAY


Tube Worm 

Pomatoceros taeniata (Lamarck, 1818)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level description.
Serpulidae are tube-dwelling polychaetes which build and live within calcareous tubes. Apart from one genus of tropical Sabellidae, these are the only polychaete family to construct calcareous tubes, which may be solitary, or in dense aggregations. In almost all serpulids there are 7 thoracic segments bearing chaetae, plus a variable number of abdominal segments. A radiolar crown of feeding tentacles is present, and nearly all serpulids have one tentacle modified to form a variably ornamented operculum which closes the tube when the worm retracts within.

Species level technical description.
Calcareous tube structure with 1 longitudinal keels; projection extending over the tube opening present; tube white with 2 violet stripes running down each side of a central serrated dorsal keel (dorsal keel often flanked at base of keel by a series of pits). Operculum present, carried on a modified non-pinnulate stalk, circular, sub-triangular or oval in cross-section, with broad wings, faintly serrated on free edge. Operculum distal end calcareous; calcareous plate, no ornamentation. 15 pairs of branchial radioles. Pinnule-free tips of the branchial radioles present. Branchial interradiolar membrane present. Branchial crown radioles arranged in 2 (semi)circles. Collar chaetae present, limbate; small, usually 10-12 in number. 7 thoracic chaetigers. Thoracic membrane present. Thoracic sickle notochaetae absent. Abdominal chaetae trumpet-shaped, with one side produced to form a long fine spine; first few segments devoid of chaetae, the remaining have 2 tufts of 2 chaetae. Thoracic uncini with numerous teeth, 8-10 teeth. Thoracic uncini with 1 vertical row of teeth. Shape of anterior peg gouged, seemingly bifid. Anterior abdominal uncini with 1 vertical row of teeth.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Sabellida
Family:
Serpulidae
Subfamily:
Serpulinae
Genus:
Pomatoceros
Species:
taeniata

General Description

In members of this genus the tube usually has a single longitudinal keels, sometimes with regular row of pits. The operculum is an inverse cone with calcified endplate. Interradiolar membrane is present. In this species the operculum is not ornamented and the opercular stalk is winged. Body up to about 1 cm long.

Biology

This is probably the most common serpulid in subtidal environments in Port Phillip Bay.

Habitat

Hard substrates, to depth of 90 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Worms Tube worms

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 3367

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, Tube Worm, Pomatoceros taeniata, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/11177

Text: creative commons cc by licence