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Chaetopterus Chaetopterus-A Chaetopteridae (chaetopterid/parchment worm)
Spionida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Chaetopterus  Chaetopterus-A  .   Family Chaetopteridae  
     Chaetopterus sp.
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Show available picture(s) for Chaetopterus Chaetopterus-A
 Habitat: Rocky shore. Soft shore. Sheltered to open beaches. Sand to shell gravel Depth range: 0-60 (m). Salinity regime: Marine only. Microhabitat:  Epifaunal (or part buried) in aggregated mats. Tube: Soft parchment tube with 2 openings, opaque and encrusted except at openings.
Occurrence:  Ubiquitous in suitable habitat.. Density: 1000 (m2).
Distribution in NZ: Northeastern New Zealand in localised patches
 Feeding guild: Subsurface filter-feeding.
 Diagnosis:  Genus Chaetopterus in Family Chaetopteridae.
A Chaetopterus species with anterior region A of 9 chaetigers, the ninth with an uncinal torus, or (uncommonly) 10 chaetigers with no region A uncinal torus. Parapodial lobe of A4 noticeably shorter than adjacent. A region width slightly less than length. Region B of 5 chaetigers, and region C of up to 28 chaetigers. Sucker of B2 with double anterior rim. Anterior region C superior lobes (cirri) of lateral neuropodia tori small, inferior lobes absent. C region notopodia weakly clavate. Chaetae undistinctive. A4 chisel spines dark, about 8 per fascicle. Tube wall construction of thin, weak parchment-like secretion, not heavily decorated. Tube built attached to surfaces, usually alongside other individuals in aggregations, not deeply buried. Colour: Very pale yellow body, Surface pigmentation on the anterior 'funnel' of the mouth and peristomium and their margins, consists of densely scattered reddish points. Palps pale or variably tinged reddish. Notopodial lobes of region C with tinge of reddish pigment on extremities and mid-dorsal surface. Black eye pigment present. Maximum size: 80 mm total length, 15 mm body width.
 Notable aspect: Highly regionalised morphology with prominent wing-like lobes preceding three valve-like paddles, preceding post region of multiple slender notopodial lobes.
 Comparisons:  Chaetopterus tubes are much larger in diameter than the thin tubes other chaetopterids, and soft, not 'chitinised.'
 Taxonomy:  Most probably best regarded as an undescribed species. Unknown if more than one species occurs in New Zealand, but a further species would be very similar in appearance, and uncommon compared to the Hauraki species.
 Distribution: New Zealand and ?
 Biology: Lives in a variety of subtidal habitats and may extend into intertidal under stones or overhangs. Newly abundant in Auckland region since 1997. Mats of tubes may be habitat-excluder for other species (scallops). Cryptogenic (origin unknown, possibly alien introduction).
 Best References:   Biology: Auckland Uniservices Limited (2001) The distribution of the parchment tubeworm Chaetopterus off the coast of northeastern New Zealand.. (Report prepared for Ministry of Fisheries, Wellington). University of Auckland. :1-47 Taxonomy: No recommendation.

 Synonyms,  NZ records Original figures Original description details
 Genus diagnosis More pictures Further references (biology, etc) Family Chaetopteridae

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Data last edited 26/07/2004, and page last generated by G. Read, 27/07/2004    (dd/mm/yy)