PORT PHILLIP BAY


Flabelligerid worm 

Flabelligera sp. 1

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level description.
Flabelligeridae are short-bodied grub-like worms which are usually recognisable from their conspicuous anterior "cage" of long chaetae enclosing the anterior end and a dense covering of papillae over most of the body. They also have paired grooved palps, interramal papillae and spines only in the neuropodia (ventral foot). Chaetae include pseudo-segmented capillaries and, in some taxa, compound short-bladed chaetae.

Species level technical description.
Body shape short and fusiform. Body texture smooth (or nearly smooth). Body surface covered with a thick translucent mucus sheath. A hardened sheath forms a complete smooth encasing for the animal. Cephalic cage present (long forwardly directed irridescent chaetae which enclose the head), formed from chaetae of segment range 1; cephalic cage rather short, formed by 50 chaetae. Oral cavity long cylindrical tube absent. Branchiae present, 30 pairs, more than 2 rows of branchiae; Branchial membrane short and rounded or triangular; slender branchial filaments randomly distributed; in two groups of 30 or more. Notochaetae cross-barred capillary. Neurochaetae compound or pseudocompound falcigers posterior to cephalic cage; 1-2 compound hooks per segment with transversely striated shafts and a jointed brown apex.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Terebellida
Family:
Flabelligeridae
Genus:
Flabelligera

General Description

In members of this genus the body is short and fusiform, the surface is smooth (almost bare of papillae) and there are more than two rows of branchiae. Body up to about 5 cm long.

Biology

There has been no taxonomic study of southern Australian Flabelligeridae since Haswell described several species in 1892, and although at least 3 genera occur in our region, the identity of local species remains uncertain.

Habitat

Inshore including bays and estuaries, on muddy bottoms, sometimes among seagrass.

Seagrass meadows

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Worms Flabelligerid worms

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

5 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

sp. 1

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, Flabelligerid worm, Flabelligera , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7478

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