Gulf of Mexico Ice Worms

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Thu Jul 2 23:13:18 EST 1998


Dear Annelida colleagues,

For the benefit of those of you who are not able to scan Cah. Biol. Mar I
am able to report that the hesionid 'iceworms,' which much intrigued us
last August,  have just  been formally described therein:

Desbruyeres,Daniel; Toulmond,Andre (1998): A new species of hesionid
worm, Hesiocaeca methanicola sp. nov. (Polychaeta: Hesionidae), living in
ice-like methane hydrates in the deep Gulf of Mexico. Cahiers de Biologie
Marine 39(1), 93-98. 

ABSTRACT: "On July 14, 1997, in the Gulf of Mexico, a dense population of
polychaete worms dwelling in methane hydrates associated with cold seeps
was discovered and sampled at 538 meters depth. The worms belong to the
family Hesionidae and represent a new species of the genus Hesiocaeca. They
differ from the two previously described species by the shape of the
prostomium, the shape of the setae and the presence of anal cirri."

I further notice that Fred Pleijel (1998, Zoologica Scripta 27(2):124) in
his just-published major analysis of the hesionids prefers to place this
species in a new genus _Sirsoe_ as Sirsoe  A  along with S. grasslei
(Blake, 1985) (formerly in Orseis), and regards Hesiocaeca as incertae
sedis.

I should add the respective authors both mention the difference of 
opinion on placement.

Geoff

--
  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>

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