PORT PHILLIP BAY


Eunicid worm 

Marphysa MoV 3906 Quatrefages, 1865

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level description.
Eunicidae are common, widespread and diverse polychaetes characterised by having complex jaws of multiple pairs of maxillae and a pair of ventral mandibles; the anterior end has paired cushion-like structures (actually dorsal lips) and beaded prostomial appendages (antennae + palps) which may be 1, 3 or 5 in total number. Some have prominent comb-like gills on mid-body chaetigers. Dorsal chaetal bundles are absent; ventral bundles have capillaries, acicular hooks, compound hooks, and combs. These are robust, muscular, active, long-lived carnivores or scavengers found in a variety of habitats.

Species level technical description.
Prostomium rounded anteriorly. Eyes present. Maxillary formula: I = 1, + 1. II = 6, + 6. III= 8, + 0. IV = 6, + 8. V = 1, + 1. Number of prostomial appendages 5 - one median antenna and a pair of lateral antennae, plus a pair of palps (in lateral-most position). Prostomial appendages dissimilar in length. Median antenna longer than lateral antennae. Palps shorter than lateral antennae. Peristomial (tentacular) cirri absent. Branchiae present. Branchiae from chaetiger 7, last present chaetiger 17. Pectinate chaetae present. Compound (composite) falcigers present. Pseudocompound falcigers present. Compound spinigers present. Subacicular hooks present.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Eunicida
Family:
Eunicidae
Genus:
Marphysa

General Description

In members of this genus there are 5 prostomial appendages (antennae + palps) and tentacular cirri are absent from the peristomial segment. Body up to about 15 cm long.

Biology

Taxonomists are currently (2012) preparing new descriptions of at least one new species of Marphysa from Australia; when this new publication is available the current treatment and identification of Victorian species will be updated.

Habitat

Estuaries, embayments, continental shelf, sand, mud and weed beds, to depth of 80 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Worms Eunicid worms

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

15 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 3906

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, Eunicid worm, Marphysa , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 30 May 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7524

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