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Pelogenia antipoda Sigalionidae (sigalionid/scale worm)
Phyllodocida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Pelogenia  antipoda  Schmarda, 1861.   Family Sigalionidae  
     Pelogenia antipoda anterior dorsal
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 Habitat: Intertidal. Soft shore. Enclosed harbours and sheltered bays. Fine sand. Infaunal. Depth range: 0-80 (m). Salinity regime: Marine only. Microhabitat:  Low water, in burrows in Zostera seagrass beds. Tube: Unlined burrow.
Occurrence:  Consistently occurring. Density: 3 (m2).
Distribution in NZ: Present nearshore throughout the main islands.
 Feeding guild: Surface carnivore.
 Diagnosis:  Genus Pelogenia in Family Sigalionidae.
A large sigalionid, rather rectangular in section, with a long thick tough body, and elytra (scales) encrusted with sand and debris. Prostomium with long median antenna; lateral antenna present, but short, inconspicuous. Body surface papillated, middorsal surface with adhesive papillae and attached sand grains. Long dorsal cirri present on segment three. Edge papillae of elytra vary in length, and are not grouped in tufts. Some elytra with a dorsal prolongation. Neurochaetae are compound falcigers Colour: Body is grey or rust-coloured. Maximum size: 100 mm total length, 9 mm body width, for 200 chaetigers.
 Notable aspect: Rectangular, sand-encrusted scale worm.
 Comparisons:  Unique amongst intertidal scale worms. All sigalionids have compound neurochaetae. The other species known for New Zealand, subtidal Pelogenia semiglabra, is less heavily encrusted, and has elytral papillae in tufts.
 Taxonomy:  Pettibone (1997) redescribed both New Zealand species of the genus, reviving Schmarda's original generic name. Psammolyce, the more familiar name, now applies to species without dorsal cirri on segment 3.
 Distribution: Endemic. Not reported outside New Zealand seas
 Biology: Little is known about the biology of Pelogenia antipoda. It has jaws, and seems most likely to be a lie-in-wait predator, but evidence is slim. When captured it is inert. Morton and Miller (fig. 203, p549) figure it in a vertical burrow.
 Best References:   Biology: No recommendation. Taxonomy: Pettibone (1997) Revision of the sigalionid species (Polychaeta) referred to Psammolyce Kinberg, 1856, Pelogenia Schmarda, 1861, and belonging to the subfamily Pelogeniinae Chamberlin, 1919. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 581:1-89.

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

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