PORT PHILLIP BAY


Ragworm 

Australonereis ehlersi (Augener, 1913)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level description.
Nereididae are polychaetes with many uniform segments, without strongly differentiated body regions. The prostomium (head) has one pair of antennae, one pair of articulated palps, and two pairs of eyes. Four pairs of unjointed cirri emerge from the next segment behind the prostomium. Mouthparts comprise an eversible pharynx with one pair of terminal jaws, although these are usually only visible by dissection.

Species level technical description.
Prostomium with entire anterior margin. Maxillary ring of pharynx with papillae (occasionally with horny tips); maxillary ring 50?110 solitary papillae in total; maxillary ring of pharynx without papillae. Ventral cirri single. Notopodial homogomph falcigers absent. Neuropodial dorsal fascicle fused falcigers absent.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Phyllodocida
Family:
Nereididae
Genus:
Australonereis
Species:
ehlersi

General Description

In members of this genus the eversible pharynx has papillae only (hard paragnaths are absent). This species can be distinguished by viewing the ventral side, where each parapodium (foot) has a row of irregular lumps - this character is not found in any other Australian species of Nereididae. Also, the head is small compared with the relatively thick diameter of the body. Body up to about 15 cm long.

Biology

A common polychaete in southern Australian estuaries where it is found on mudflats. Often sought by anglers seeking bait. Fragile when handled, often breaking into fragments.

Habitat

Estuaries.

Seagrass meadows

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

South?eastern Australia, or south-western Australia, or north-western Australia.

Species Group

Worms Ragworms

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

15 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1064

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, Ragworm, Australonereis ehlersi, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 21 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7409

Text: creative commons cc by licence