PORT PHILLIP BAY


Scaleworm 

Malmgreniella phillipensis Knox & Cameron, 1971

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level description.
Polynoidae are predators in which the dorsal cirri of an alternating series of segments are modified to form scales which lie flat covering the top of the worm and make two rows like overlapping tiles on a roof. The scales (elytrae) are typically pigmented and/or pigmented in distinctive, species-specific patterns. The commonly-observed shallow water species are mostly short-bodied, often with a fixed number of segments and elytrae. Anteriorly the prostomium and appendages are varied but generally a a pair of large conical palps and pairs of antennae and tentacular cirri can be seen (although the anterior-most scales usually have to be removed to reveal these structures). The muscular eversible pharynx, if dissected, can be seen to have two pairs of jaws that close in a vertical plane. Chaetae are generally numerous and conspicuous, always simple (compound chaetae are absent) and ornamented with a diverse array of spines, teeth and other gothic ornaments.

Species level technical description.
Elytrae number 15 pairs. Elytra present on chaetigers 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23; and on 26 (29), (32), (35). Last 4-6 segments without elytrae; Elytrae covering body completely. Elytral coloration: First pair of elytrae with narrow marginal brown pigment band complete except for medial part; also anterior brown crescent of pigment thicker medially and tapering to a point laterally. Remaining elytrae with brown band around medial margin only, broader anteriorly where connected with a brown pigmentation area over point of attachment (lateral margin unpigmented); asymmetrical crescent-shaped pigmentation pattern not present on holotype. Elytral surface ornamentation present as raised ridges. Elytral ridges.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Phyllodocida
Family:
Polynoidae
Genus:
Malmgreniella
Species:
phillipensis

General Description

In members of this genus there are 15 pairs of elytrae and 25-37 segments. This species has pigmentation forming a distinct lines marking the posterior and inner margins of the elytrae; elsewhere the elytrae are unpigmented. Body up to about 5 cm long.

Biology

These worms are predators.

Habitat

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

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Worms Scaleworms

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

5 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 4311

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, Scaleworm, Malmgreniella phillipensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Apr 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7494

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