NIWA Guide to Polychaeta | Shore polychaetes | Shell polychaetes
Shell worm Boccardia otakouica Spionidae (spionid)
Spionida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Boccardia  otakouica  Rainer, 1973.   Family Spionidae  
     Boccardia otakouica from Atrina zelandica blister
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 Identification tips:    Pygidium with 4 distinct lobes, upper lobes smaller. Distinctive colour pattern(s) present; white mid-body or posterior dorsal pigmentation present.
 Habitat: Inshore marine embayment, or marine shelf. Known from mollusc shell. In bivalves. In shell blisters, debri packed. Recorded from living shells of New Zealand commercial shellfish: Atrina pectinata, Ostrea chilensis. Occurrences in empty/dead shell also never reported. Tube lining present as packing within mud blister. Tube chimney present as glued debri/sand-grains.
 Nomenclature: Genus Boccardia in Family Spionidae. Boccardia otakouica. Described by Rainer, published in 1973, as Boccardia otakouica. Type locality: New Zealand, Otago Harbour. Other synonyms: none recorded
 Description:  Head region: Prostomium tip pronounced notch. Occipital antenna absent (but a small swelling present level with palps). Caruncle extends to anterior chaetiger 4; separate mid-dorsal organ absent. Colouration: Eyes present, three pairs. Dorsal pigmentation pattern present; dark anterior dorsal pigmentation present (only as small dorsolateral spots on 5 and following (Rainer 1973, not seen Read 1975)). Dark anterior pigmentation on head. White (or yellow white) anterior dorsal pigmentation present (scattered on prostomium, peristomium, chaetiger 1). Palp banding absent. White mid-body or posterior dorsal pigmentation present (prominent white flaky layer, but may be obvious only when fixed). Other colouration includes white pigment on pygidium. Branchiae, chaetae, and pygidium: Branchiae adjoining parapodia 2-4, then 6 and following; longest branchiae on chaetiger 9; near body end branchiae absent. Anterior gut gizzard-like structure absent. Hooded hooks begin chaetiger 7; bifid, hook shaft constriction (manubrium) absent, anterior hooded hook main fang more or less oriented apically with narrow angle with apical tooth. Alternating capillaries adjacent hooded hooks present. Chaetiger one notochaetae absent; notopodial lobe present. Chaetae of chaetiger 5 'upper' (or 'posterior') row falcate without ornamentation, 'lower' (or 'anterior') row are knob-tipped and bristle-topped with subterminal spur. Superior notochaetae of chaetiger 5 present. Posterior notochaetal spines absent. Pygidium with 4 distinct lobes, upper lobes smaller.
 Dimensions: Length 26 mm. Width 0.6 mm. Segment total 104. Palps extend to about chaetiger 15.
 Reproduction: Active planktonic dispersal present. Larval nutrition yolky, but planktonic later, or nurse egg lecithotrophic; poecilogony absent or undetected.
 Distribution:  Occurs only in New Zealand. Not known to be invasive or anthropochoric. Global distribution includes New Zealand mainland..
 Remarks:  None
 Biology: Boccardia otakouica is a blister-inducing species, at least in Atrina zelandica and also occurs in both dredge and Pacific oysters. It is not usually abundant. Feeding group: Surface deposit/filter-feeding.
 Best References:   Biology: Read (1975) Systematics and biology of polydorid species (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from Wellington Harbour.. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 5:395-419 Taxonomy: Rainer (1973) Polydora and related genera (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from Otago waters. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 3:545-564.

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 Genus diagnosis More pictures Further references (biology, etc) Family Spionidae

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The information provided by this page and by the pages of the "more information" links is held in a structured form for rapid and frequent updating and improvement. Descriptive text is compiled from a number of database fields, some of which may occasionally be empty.
Data last edited 20/07/2004  (dd/mm/yy), and page last generated by G. Read, 25/07/2004  (dd/mm/yy)