Worm eggs and amphipods

Sara Lindsay LINDSAY at cls.biol.sc.edu
Mon Jun 24 10:14:27 EST 1996

Edwin Cruz-rivera wrote: 

>Hello all,
>    I have stumbled across some mudflat worm gelatinous egg masses 
> that are plagued with what seems to be the amphipod Microprotopus 
> raneyi.  Before this, I had never seen it in large numbers anywhere 
> around here, but we have collected this amphipod occasionally in 
> plankton tows.  I have checked some of the obvious sources and, 
> have only been able to find one reference dealing directly with 
> amphipod-egg mass associations (Fox, 1980).Has anyone observed 
> similar phenomena in other annelids that put out 
> gelatinous masses of eggs?

Nereis vexillosa lay gelatinous egg masses (lots of little jelly 
bubbles packed together into a spongy sort of egg mass).  At False 
Bay,  on San Juan Island, WA, USA, these invariably end up infested 
with amphipods, though I have never keyed out the amphipod species.  
Interestingly, I've seen far fewer infestations in egg masses layed 
at a more protected site, Mitchell Bay on San Juan Island.  I have 
not noticed significant amphipod loads on Arenicola cristata egg 
masses that we've collected from Pawley's Island and North Inlet, SC, 
but I will pay closer attention and let you know.  

Happy worm/amphipod hunting.

Sara Lindsay

Sara M. Lindsay, Ph.D.
Dept. Biological Sciences
University of South Carolina
Columbia, S.C. 29208
Phone (803) 777-9621
FAX (803) 777-4002

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