NIWA Guide to Polychaeta | Shore polychaetes | Shell polychaetes
Shell worm Boccardia proboscidea Spionidae (spionid)
Spionida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Boccardia  proboscidea  Hartman, 1940.   Family Spionidae  
     Boccardia proboscidea lateral anterior
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 Identification tips:    Pygidium thickened plug-like disc with dorsal notch. Distinctive colour pattern(s) present; black pigment along lower lateral sides of prostomium.
 Habitat: Marine shelf. Known from mollusc shell. In bivalves. In shell blisters, debri packed, or in shell crevices. Recorded from living shells of New Zealand commercial shellfish: Haliotis iris. Occurrences in empty/dead shell also never reported. Tube lining constructed of sand grains. Tube chimney present as glued debri/sand-grains.
 Nomenclature: Genus Boccardia in Family Spionidae. Boccardia proboscidea. Described by Hartman, published in 1940, as Boccardia proboscidea. Type locality: California, USA, La Jolla [Scripps]. Other synonyms: none recorded
 Description:  Head region: Prostomium tip bifurcation absent. Occipital antenna absent. Caruncle extends to mid chaetiger 3; separate mid-dorsal organ absent. Colouration: Eyes present, two pairs; coloured black. Dorsal pigmentation pattern present; dark anterior dorsal pigmentation present (as black pigment along lower lateral sides of prostomium bordering peristomium, and faintly on c2 anterior dorsal edge); white (or yellow white) anterior dorsal pigmentation absent. Palp banding brown line on groove edge. White mid-body or posterior dorsal pigmentation absent. Other colouration includes deep yellow / orange body in life. Branchiae, chaetae, and pygidium: Branchiae adjoining parapodia 2-4, then 6 and following; longest branchiae on chaetiger 7 (long on chaetiger 2); near body end branchiae present. Anterior gut gizzard-like structure absent. Glandular 'pouches' present. Glandular pouches begin chaetiger 6. Hooded hooks begin chaetiger 7; bifid, hook shaft constriction (manubrium) absent, anterior hooded hook main fang more or less oriented at right angles to the shaft with wide angle to apical tooth. Alternating capillaries adjacent hooded hooks absent; neurochaetal inferior chaetae below hooded hooks present (but only in c7-9). Chaetiger one notochaetae present; notopodial lobe present. Chaetiger 5 elongated relative to adjacent segments. Chaetiger 4 thickened chaetae (similar to those of chaetiger 5) absent. Chaetae of chaetiger 5 'upper' (or 'posterior') row falcate without ornamentation, 'lower' (or 'anterior') row are knob-tipped and bristle-topped (without subterminal spur). Superior notochaetae of chaetiger 5 absent. Inferior neurochaetae of chaetiger 5 present. Chaetiger 5 postchaetal lobes absent. Posterior notochaetal spines absent. Pygidium thickened plug-like disc with dorsal notch (and incompletely incised into lobes). Pygidium large, distinctly wider than last chaetigers.
 Dimensions: Length 20 mm. Width 1.5 mm. Segment total 150. A robust, thick body.
 Reproduction: Egg capsule string with adjacent capsules separated. Active planktonic dispersal present. Larval nutrition mostly planktotrophic, with early larval release, or nurse egg lecithotrophic; poecilogony occurs. Paratomic budding absent or undetected. Pelagic larva dorsal pigmentation as branched chromatophores, usually pairs.
 Distribution:  World distribution includes New Zealand and elsewhere. Known to be anthropochoric/invasive (perhaps). Global distribution includes New Zealand mainland (Bluff), Australia, within south east coast and Tasmanian zone, North America, Pacific coast (to Panamanian Isthmus)..
 Remarks:  Compare B. columbiana Berkeley. Pygidium not as divided as in type description.
 Biology: Boccardia proboscidea has not been previously reported for New Zealand, but has been found on abalone with P hoplura (G. Read in prep). It is an opportunistic fouling species or occurs as a secondary occupant of borings. Feeding group: Surface deposit/filter-feeding.
 Best References:   Biology: Gibson, Paterson, Taylor, and Woolridge (1999) Molecular and morphological evidence of a single species, Boccardia proboscidea (Polychaeta : Spionidae), with multiple development modes.. Marine Biology 134:743-751 Taxonomy: Hartman (1940) Boccardia proboscidea, a new species of spionid worm from California. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 30:382-387.

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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)