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Axiothella serrata Maldanidae (maldanid/bamboo worm)
Scolecida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Axiothella  serrata  Kudenov & Read, 1977.   Family Maldanidae  
     Axiothella serrata
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 Habitat: Intertidal. Soft shore. Enclosed harbours only. Fine to very fine sands. Infaunal. Depth range: 0 (m). Salinity regime: Estuary-like variation. Microhabitat:  J-burrows to about 15 cm depth Tube: Frail loosely-cemented sand-grain tube
Occurrence:  Common to abundant. Density: 500 (m2).
Distribution in NZ: Northern South Island and Porirua Harbour (North Island).
 Feeding guild: Subsurface deposit-feeder.
 Diagnosis:  Genus Axiothella in Family Maldanidae.
22 chaetigerous segments; lacking achaetigerous preanal segments; lacking collar. Palpode flattened, tongue shaped. Cephalic keel three-fourths as long as cephalic plaque. Nuchal grooves slightly curved. Cephalic margin with single lateral notches and minute serrations. Chaetiger 1 with 4-5 rostrate hooks. Parapodial lobes inflated. Pygidium a transverse funnel, with 21-42 flat, subequal, tongue-shaped cirri. Mid-ventral cirrus elongate, about as long as pygidium. Colour: Light brown, darker anteriorly. Brown to greenish brown rings posterior to chaetal fascicles on chaetigers 2-10. In posterior segments these rings reduced to dark brown elliptical patches posterior to neurochaetae. Basal notopodial region of chaetiger 9 pigmented green. Maximum size: 70 mm total length, 2.5 mm body width.
 Notable aspect: Axiothella species (no collar) with 22 chaetigers and no achaetigerous pre-anal segments.
 Comparisons:  Macroclymenella stewartensis, also intertidal in similar conditions, has a chaetiger 4 collar.
 Taxonomy:  Ecological reports prior to 1977 may misidentify this species as Axiothella quadrimaculata or A. australis.
 Distribution: Endemic. Unreported outside New Zealand.
 Biology: Burrows in soft mud to coarse sand, more usually in fine sands associated with eel grasses. New recruits first appear in October-November as lecithotrophic siblings developing directly from egg masses spawned sub-surface. Spawning is believed to be synchronised and repeated during spring and summer. Once surface dwelling at about the 6-setiger stages, juveniles dispersed rapidly over the intertidal zone. zonation patterns were variable and age specific, differing even between young and old juveniles. Adults reproduce at the end of their second year, with a lifespan of perhaps 4 years.
 Best References:   Biology: Read (1984) Recruitment and population dynamics of Axiothella serrata (Polychaeta: Maldanidae) on an intertidal sand flat.. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 11:399-411 Taxonomy: Kudenov and Read (1977) Axiothella serrata n.sp., a maldanid polychaete from Porirua Harbour, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 11:697-702.

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

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