PORT PHILLIP BAY


Scaleworm 

Lepidonotus glaucus (Peters, 1854)

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 12 pairs. Elytra present on chaetigers 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23. Last pair on the expected chaetiger; present to posterior end ( 3 or fewer segments without elytrae); Elytrae covering body completely. Elytral coloration: Periphery of elytrae variably pigmented light to dark grey, centre of elytrae darker pigmentation; two rows of light colored papillae, running obliquelly towards each other, more or less longitudinally. Pigment forming dark network separated by white, slightly raised areas. Elytral surface ornamentation present as raised ridges, or present as microtubercles, or present as macrotubercles. Elytral ridges.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Annelida
Class:
Polychaeta
Order:
Phyllodocida
Family:
Polynoidae
Genus:
Lepidonotus
Species:
glaucus

General Description

In members of this genus there are 12 pairs of elytrae and 26 segments. This species is the only polynoid with uniform very dark grey pigmentation throughout. Each elytron has two slightly diverging raised keels. Body up to about 5 cm long.

Biology

This species apparently occurs Australia-wide as well as elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific area.

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

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 4129

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, Lepidonotus glaucus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7583

Text: creative commons cc by licence