Jump to content


Critter Expert
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Leslie

  1. Brian's right (good work Grasshopper).... genus Diopatra, family Onuphidae. Easy ID - 5 antennae, tube builder, and the anterior gills are stalked with small filaments arranged in spirals. None of the other onuphids have spiralled branchiae. There aren't any photo records of this with a species name attached that I know of but I'll look in my literature files. A number of species are described from the region so maybe I can find something. Matt S also photographed this on a prior trip.


    One cool thing about Diopatra species is that they're farmers. Many species like to attach algae to their tubes. It gives them camouflage, attracts other animals which they may eat, and they often eat the algae themselves.

  2. Hi Eric -- I hadn't even seen your post when I got an email from Sammy De Grove, the lord high shrimp expert at Oxford, who lurks here on occasion. Your shrimp is Periclimenaeus storchi (not a true snapping shrimp, wrong family), he says it's an outstanding image ( I totally agree), and he wonders if I could get a high-res image (copyright included is fine) from you that he can use in lectures. :-D

  3. Thanks Leslie. So there are experts on these somewhere?


    Yup. If you really want to give it a try contact Rocha here on WP. He can give you some names or links to keys or he might say that without a nicely preserved specimen there's no way to id it.


    Drew had a thread going a year or two ago. He had a greenish one and really wanted it to be a larval green moray. When I showed his pic to the fish guys here at my museum & asked for an id they just laughed.

  4. hi Marli --


    It's family Sabellidae. There are only a few genera of sabellids, let along species, that can be identified from pictures. I can see two radioles (the feathery plumes that make up the crown) sticking up while the other radioles are curled down. Do you have other pics clearly showing the tips of the two upright ones? I think I see small black swellings at the tips which would be eyes which would make this the genus Megalomma. If the tips are bare you'll have to be satisfied with just the family name.


    Cheers, Leslie

  5. Worm. It's the last body region of a polychaete worm known as Chaetopterus. They're rather bizarre because the body is so highly modified. http://scienceblogs.com/deepseanews/2007/02/vermes.php They pump water through their tubes to catch food with a net secreted from mucus and they also create a bright blue luminescence. I think this last section breaks off when the worm is disturbed as it moves about rapidly and draws attention away from the main body.

  6. I'm, glad you joined. Anyone who posts polychaete pictures is my new best friend! :)


    Do you have images of them swimming? I've spoken to 2 colleagues who specialize on fan worms & neither of them have ever heard of Branchiomma leaving the tubes except in response to habitat disturbance or predation. There are no reports of them emerging from the tubes to spawn either. So they are very curious about this behavior.


    Small sabellid species are much more mobile than the large ones. They can swim better & it's easier for them to rebuild tubes.


    Not all of the species on the list will make it into the Mediterranean. B. spongiarum, for example, is a cold water species described from the Faroe Islands.

    Another species newly described for the area is Branchiomma maerli -

    Licciano & Giangrande 2008 - the genus Branchiomma in the Mediterranean with the description of B. maerli



    Branchiomma bairdi is a newly recognized introduced species in the Mediterranean. It originated in the Caribbean



    Color is not always a good way to identify polychaetes. There are some species in which the color pattern is absolutely unique while in others it may be quite variable. A striking example is the christmas tree worm which can be red, white, yellow, blue, green, orange, brown, or even a mix. It always takes specimen examination to be really sure of the species ID.


    Cheers, L

  7. Welcome to Wetpixel!


    This is one of the few genera of fanworms that are easy to identify if the images show the right details and fortunately your second one does. See the little filaments on the outside of the feathery crown? The only genus that has these is Branchiomma. About 7 species are reported from Italy & adjacent areas, some native & some introduced.


    Your observation about the worms moving in response to environmental changes is quite interesting. I've noticed that they will rapidly leave their tubes & swim away when disturbed but I don't think anyone has reported this type of migration. Can you tell if they are releasing eggs & sperm as they move?


    thanks for posting--


  • Create New...