NIWA Guide to Polychaeta | Shore polychaetes | Shell polychaetes
Shell worm Dipolydora giardi Spionidae (spionid)
Spionida (Annelida: Polychaeta)
Dipolydora  giardi  (Mesnil, 1896).   Family Spionidae  
     Dipolydora giardi figure
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 Identification tips:    Branchiae not present until chaetiger 9-10, plug-like, incised pygidium. Distinctive colour pattern(s) absent.
 Habitat: Inshore marine embayment. Known from mollusc shell. In abandoned shell-borings, or in shell crevices. Recorded from living shells of New Zealand commercial shellfish: Atrina pectinata, Ostrea chilensis, Perna canaliculus. Occurrences in empty/dead shell also never reported.
 Nomenclature: Genus Dipolydora in Family Spionidae. Dipolydora giardi [NZ]. Described by Mesnil, published in 1896, as Polydora giardi. Type locality: France. Other synonyms: none recorded
 Description:  Head region: Prostomium tip pronounced notch. Occipital antenna absent. Caruncle extends to anterior chaetiger 4; separate mid-dorsal organ absent. Colouration: Eyes absent. Dorsal pigmentation pattern absent (although Rainer (1973) reports some small black pigment spots). Palp banding absent. White mid-body or posterior dorsal pigmentation absent. Branchiae, chaetae, and pygidium: Branchiae adjoining parapodia 9 or later and following (9 Otago, 10 Wellington); longest branchiae on chaetiger 10 or later (chaetiger 12); near body end branchiae absent; end at 30. 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 absent; neurochaetal inferior chaetae below hooded hooks present (from about 7-12, and last 15 (fide Rainer)). Chaetiger one notochaetae present; notopodial lobe present. Chaetae of chaetiger 5 'upper' (or 'posterior') row falcate with subterminal flange as a lateral tooth, 'lower' (or 'anterior') row are hastate tipped 'companion' chaetae. Superior notochaetae of chaetiger 5 present. Posterior notochaetal spines absent. Pygidium plug-like but incised into four.
 Dimensions: Length 17 mm. Width 0.4 mm. Segment total 100. Slim small species.
 Reproduction: Active planktonic dispersal unstated.
 Distribution:  World distribution includes New Zealand and elsewhere. Global distribution includes New Zealand mainland, Australia, within south east coast and Tasmanian zone, Atlantic European coasts..
 Remarks:  Probably introduced to New Zealand waters (Otago and Wellington harbours), but not yet found in abundance.
 Biology: Little is known about Dipolydora giardi as it is relatively uncommon in New Zealand. Feeding group: Surface deposit/filter-feeding.
 Best References:   Biology: Day and Blake (1979) Reproduction and larval development of Polydora giardi Mesnil (Polychaeta: Spionidae).. Biological Bulletin 156:20-30 Taxonomy: Read (1975) Systematics and biology of polydorid species (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from Wellington Harbour. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 5:395-419.

  Synonyms,  NZ records Original figures Original description details
 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)