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Nereis falcaria Nereididae (nereidid/rag worm)
Phyllodocida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Nereis  falcaria  Willey, 1905.   Family Nereididae  
     Nereis falcaria
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 Habitat: Intertidal. Subtidal. Rocky shore. Sheltered to open beaches. Epifaunal. Depth range: 0-30 (m). Salinity regime: Marine only. Microhabitat:  Low intertidal in rock crevices, coralline algal turf, algal holdfasts. Tube: None known.
Occurrence:  Consistently occurring, sometimes common. Density: 100 (m2).
Distribution in NZ: New Zealand wide, and Auckland Islands.
 Feeding guild: Surface omnivore.
 Diagnosis:  Genus Nereis in Family Nereididae.
A deep notch is present between the antennae on the head. Dorsal proboscis area II (lateral nearest jaws) with diagonal double row of about 20 conicals, and area VI (lateral nearest head) with a compact group or line of about 4 (up to 10) conicals. From about chaeitger 17 up to 2 homogomph notopodial falcigers are present. The falciger blade has a large secondary tooth with one or two minor tooth-like structures variably present below it. Colour: Dark grey-green anterior dorsal body becomes more brown posteriorly with yellow midline intersegmental pigmentation and yellow parapodial bases. A single thin brown transverse band is usually present from midbody. Maximum size: 50 mm total length, 3 mm body width.
 Notable aspect: Deep notch in prostomium.
 Comparisons:  Nereis antipoda is a N. jacksoni-like species, similar to N. falcaria, but lacking prostomial notch.
 Taxonomy:  N. falcaria is perhaps a species group. In which case N. mortenseni Augener might be the correct name for NZ worms. N. jacksoni is a related species. Apparently not found in Australia.
 Distribution: Sri Lanka, China, New Zealand
 Biology: Metamorphoses and swarms in late winter to spring. Some evidence that intermittent mass spawnings may take place.
 Best References:   Biology: Read (1974) Egg masses and larvae of the polychaete Nereis falcaria (Note).. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 8:557-561 Taxonomy: Augener (1923) Papers from Dr. Th. Mortensen's Pacific Expedition 1914-1916. No. 14. Polychaeta I. Polychaeten von den Auckland- und Campbell-Inseln. Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk naturhistorisk Forenig i KĂžbenhavn 75:1-115.

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

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