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Euzonus otagoensis Opheliidae (opheliid)
Scolecida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Euzonus  otagoensis  Probert, 1976.   Family Opheliidae  
     Euzonus otagoensis lateral views
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 Habitat: Intertidal. Soft shore. Sheltered to open beaches. Fine clean sand Infaunal. Depth range: 0 (m). Salinity regime: Marine only. Microhabitat:  Mid-tide level, with surface sign of presence not observed. Tube: No tube. Burrows freely.
Occurrence:  Uncommon but may have localised colonies. Density: 700 (m2).
Distribution in NZ: Rarely reported, but may be widespread. Known from Otago, Northland, and Wellington.
 Feeding guild: Subsurface deposit-feeding/herbivore.
 Diagnosis:  Genus Euzonus in Family Opheliidae.
Always 38 chaetigers, the anterior 14 abranchiate, then 18 with paired branchiae, then at posterior 6 without branchiae . Head abruptly tapered to small point. Prostomial eyespots absent, lateral eyespots absent. A slight constriction between chaetiger 2 and three (genus character). Glandular ridge present on chaetiger 10, with a small ridge on chaetiger 11. Midventral ridge present in branchial region. Pygidium with a stout ventral cirrus, and lateral cirri numbering about 6-9 each side. All chaetae are unornamented capillaries. Colour: Red or pink in life. Maximum size: 35 mm total length, 2.5 mm body width, for 38 chaetigers.
 Notable aspect: Bifurcate branchiae. Constant total number of chaetigers - no variation reported from a large number of specimens examined.
 Comparisons:  Armandia maculata, a slender, more streamlined opheliid species, has other easily-seen differences in that the branchiae are single (NOT paired) on each segment, and eyespots ARE present.
 Taxonomy:  Distinct in genus for 14 abranchiate chaetigers and for presence of 2nd glandular ridge on chaetiger 11.
 Distribution: Endemic. Unreported elsewhere.
 Biology: Has been found on open coast beaches that have some shelter. Is not known from either exposed surf beaches or sheltered harbours.
 Best References:   Biology: Probert (1976) New species of Euzonus (Polychaeta: Opheliidae) from a New Zealand sandy beach. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 10:375-379 Taxonomy: Santos, Nonato, and Petersen (2004) Two new species of Opheliidae (Annelida: Polychaeta): Euzonus papillatus sp. n. from a northeastern Brazilian sandy beach and Euzonus mammillatus sp. n. from the continental shelf of southeastern Brazil. Zootaxa 478:1-12.

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

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Data last edited 10/09/2004, and page last generated by G. Read, 11/09/2004    (dd/mm/yy)