Terebrasabella heterouncinata Fitzhugh and Rouse, 1999
Small, ~2 – 5 mm; all have 8 thoracic and 3 abdominal chaetigers.
Branchial crown with 2 pairs of radioles, each with 4 – 6 pairs of pinnules. Thoracic uncini on chaetigers 2 – 6 (3 – 4 per fascicle) with main fang, 1 pair large lateral teeth, and smaller subequal teeth, on chaetigers 7 – 8 lack main fang, each with ~22 rows of teeth, 5 teeth per row, up to 23 uncini per chaetiger. Companion chaetae present. Abdominal uncini similar to thoracic uncini.
Simultaneous hermaphrodite: sperm in chaetiger 8, eggs in chaetigers 9 & 10. Semi-continuous brooders, larvae lecithotrophic, remain in parental burrow until ready to settle.
Live in burrows in shell of abalone, turban shells, whelks. Don’t excavate own burrows; larvae settle on inner surface of growing edge of host shell and induces host to secrete nacreous shell around it, forming tube
South Africa: Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces.
When present in very high densities cause shells to become deformed. Problems on local farms mostly under control. Probably complex of host-specific species in South Africa. Needs to be resolved.