Boccardia polybranchia (Haswell 1885)

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Common, Alien?


Prostomium bifid. Caruncle to end of chaetiger 2. Boccardia polybranchia_watermarkedNo occipital tentacle. 2 pairs of eyes. Preserved specimens tan with dark pigmentation along margin of prostomium, on dorsal of peristomium and chaetiger 1, on posterior chaetigers and sometimes on pygidium. Chaetiger 1 reduced and lack notochaetae. Hooded hooks from chaetiger 7, up to 11 hooks per ramus. Modified spines of chaetiger 5 include dorsal row of 2 or 3 falcate spines, and ventral row of 3 or 4 bristle- topped spines. Older falcate spines not strongly curved. Branchiae on chaetigers 2-4 and posteriorly from chaetiger 6 for 70- 80% of chaetigers. Short, broad and connected to notopodia on chaetigers 6-16, then filiform and longer. Paired glands composed of a few large sacs observed on chaetigers 7-9. Pygidium, thick and fleshy with dorsal notch (sometimes with ventral notch).

South African Specimens: 20.3 mm long for 79 chaetigers

Namibia, South Africa: west, south & east coasts
Australia (Type locality), Brazil, Argentina, Straits of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego, Peru and Kerguelen Islands.   Mediterranean, English Channel, France and Japan.

Intertidal, South African specimens associated with mollusc shells (turban shell Turbo sarmaticus, mussel Perna Perna, abalone Haliotis midae and limpet Scutellastra longicosta.  Sandy or muddy tubes associated with Lithothamnion and other coralline algae or Galeolaria tubes.

Alien status needs to be confirmed

Citation: Simon C. A. and van Niekerk S. E. (2012), Boccardia polybranchia (Haswell 1885) modified May 2015, The Simon Polychaete Lab-, Date Accessed:June 24, 2019.