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Dominica mystery sand dweller


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#1 erickaye

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:54 AM

Any ideas on this one? Was found in the sand during the day in about 15 feet of water off Dominica.

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#2 Leslie

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:50 AM

Hi there - Those are the 2 feeding palps of some kind of polychaete. It might be in family Spionidae, Chaetopteridae, or several other families. The palps pick up particles of food & carry them back to the mouth while the body is safe inside the burrow.

#3 erickaye

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:29 AM

Much thanks! Tons of Eunice Roussaei found there, too. One was easily 8 feet long.


Hi there - Those are the 2 feeding palps of some kind of polychaete. It might be in family Spionidae, Chaetopteridae, or several other families. The palps pick up particles of food & carry them back to the mouth while the body is safe inside the burrow.



#4 Leslie

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:02 AM

Much thanks! Tons of Eunice Roussaei found there, too. One was easily 8 feet long.


I'd sure love to see some of those! The real name of the big caribbean eunicids is in doubt and it will require examining specimens to determine the correct name. Same for the other giant eunicids in other parts of the world - even the IP bobbitt. E. roussaei's range is now considered to be Adriactic, Mediterranean, etc. If you like going through scientific jargon (although this isn't as bad as most) there's a discussion about the issue here http://www.ots.ac.cr...Polychaetes.pdf

#5 SwiftFF5

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:47 PM

On a night dive in the Dominican Republic several years ago, we saw some sort of polychaete worn that had alternating green and black segments, formidable looking jaws and was about 6 feet long and about two inches in diameter. I had no idea what it was at the time, and didn't have a camera yet, but it was very, very impressive. In fact, it scared our dive master a bit, I think.

Edited by SwiftFF5, 27 March 2012 - 01:47 PM.

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#6 erickaye

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:40 PM

That's a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing. It amazes me how little work has been done on these enormous creatures to date. They didn't seem that rare in Dominica, although I've never encountered them anywhere else. Wonder why Deloach and Humann decided to go with roussaei for their book... Calling it "The Thing" definitely helps its popularity.


I'd sure love to see some of those! The real name of the big caribbean eunicids is in doubt and it will require examining specimens to determine the correct name. Same for the other giant eunicids in other parts of the world - even the IP bobbitt. E. roussaei's range is now considered to be Adriactic, Mediterranean, etc. If you like going through scientific jargon (although this isn't as bad as most) there's a discussion about the issue here http://www.ots.ac.cr...Polychaetes.pdf