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Marphysa depressa Eunicidae (eunicid)
Eunicida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Marphysa  depressa  (Schmarda, 1861).   Family Eunicidae  
     Marphysa depressa dorsal head
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 Habitat: Intertidal. Rocky shore. Bays and sheltered beaches. Infaunal. Epifaunal. Depth range: 0-2 (m). Salinity regime: Harbour-like variation. Microhabitat:  Muddy crevices. Tube: None, but galleries (burrow track) in sediment.
Occurrence:  Common. Density: 400 (m2).
Distribution in NZ: New Zealand wide.
 Feeding guild: Surface omnivore.
 Diagnosis:  Genus Marphysa in Family Eunicidae.
Marphysawith branchiae beginning from chaetiger 25 or further back, with 1 to 4 filaments. Body section flattened dorso-ventrally after the first few segments. Pale subacicular hooks in post body have distinctly bidentate tips with small hood. Supra-acicular chaetae are capillaries with some delicate inconspicuous comb-tipped chaetae present. Subacicular chaetae are compound capillaries and falcigers. Colour: Grey body with red branchiae. Maximum size: 400 mm total length, 7 mm body width.
 Notable aspect: Presence of compound capillaries.
 Comparisons:  Other shore Marphysa such as M. capensis may appear quite similar and examination of chaetal types will be needed to distinguish them.
 Taxonomy:  The purported four valid New Zealand Marphysa species need to be reviewed again.
 Distribution: Endemic. Also reported for South Africa
 Biology: Little is known. Note that Morton & Miller 1968 may be including more than one species in their comments using this name.
 Best References:   Biology: Morton and Miller (1968) The New Zealand sea shore.. Collins, Lond. Auckland (2nd ed. 1973 pagination unchanged) :653 Taxonomy: Knox and Green (1972) The Polychaetes of New Zealand Part 4. Eunicidae. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 2:459-470.

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

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Data last edited 6/07/2004, and page last generated by G. Read, 27/07/2004    (dd/mm/yy)