PORT PHILLIP BAY


Ragworm 

Neanthes kerguelensis (Mcintosh, 1885)

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. Area I conical paragnaths: 0-1; II: 3-18; III: 0-14 (usually 0-4); IV: 4-26. Area V paragnaths absent; VI: 0-1; VII-VIII: 0-7. Dorsal notopodial ligule not markedly elongate on posterior chaetigers. Not markedly broader on posterior chaetigers. Dorsal notopodial ligule not markedly reduced on posterior chaetigers. Prechaetal notopodial lobe present. Dorsal cirrus not terminally attached to dorsal notopodial ligule on posterior chaetigers. Dorsal cirrus length about 1.5 times ventral notopodial ligule at chaetiger 10-20. Neuropodial postchaetal lobe present, at least on some anterior chaetigers. Ventral neuropodial ligule on posterior chaetigers similar to length of acicular neuropodial ligule. Ventral cirri single. Notopodial homogomph spinigers present. Notopodial homogomph falcigers absent. Neuropodial dorsal fascicle fused falcigers absent.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Phyllodocida
Family:
Nereididae
Genus:
Neanthes
Species:
kerguelensis

General Description

In members of this genus paragnaths are generally present in most areas of the eversible pharynx; Area VI has cones only (no bars, as are present in Perinereis spp). Notochaetae are only spinigers (short-bladed chaetae are absent from the dorsal bundle of chaetae, and simple chaetae with fused articulation are absent ventrally). This species can be distinguished from other local species by having only a single line of at most 7 paragnaths on the ventral part of the oral ring of the eversible pharynx (Area VII-VIII). Body up to about 5 cm long.

Biology

A widespread species found in coastal bays and continental shelf depths throughout Australia, New Zealand and the sub Antarctic.

Habitat

Coastal bays and shallow continental shelf areas, usually at depths less than 100 m but occasionally to 1000 m or more.

Seagrass meadows

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, or south-western Australia.

Species Group

Worms Ragworms

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

5 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 424

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, Neanthes kerguelensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Apr 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7539

Text: creative commons cc by licence