Polydora hoplura Claparède, 1870

Pest, Invasive

Robust, up to 40mm for 180 segments and 2mm wide at chaetiger 5. Dark pigmentation along prostomium and on peristomium, sometimes on pygidium. Palps often with black bars. Pigmentation may be absent. Prostomium bilobed, weakly incised anteriorly or rounded, caruncle to end chaetiger 3. Up to 2 pairs of eyes.
No notochaetae on chaetiger 1.Modified spines of chaetiger 5 simple hooks with flange on concave edge. Strong hooks on posterior chaetigers.
Branchiae begin on chaetiger 7, long & filiform, usually end before posterior notochaetal hooks begin.
Pygidium saucer-shaped.

South Africa: Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces
English Channel, Atlantic coast of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Mediterranean Sea (Type locality Bay of Naples).

Common pest of farmed abalone and oysters, but mainly on latter.  Boring stimulates the production of mudblisters. Occurs less often as epifauna on shells. Spread among farms via movement of infested farmed molluscs. Found in wild molluscs in Western and Eastern Cape provinces.

Brood capsules joined, resemble sausage. Adelphophagic and planktotrophic larvae produced in separate broods. Brooding adults usually present during spring.

Cite as: Van Niekerk, S. and Simon C.A. (2012) Polydora hoplura Claparède, 1870, modified May 2019 (https://thesimonpolychaetelab.com/polydora-hoplura/, Accessed on <day/month/year>)