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Parasites of Terebellids

Aaron Baldwin jsapb at gci.net
Wed Dec 1 21:40:48 EST 1999

Dear All,

While sorting some benthic samples from the Gulf of Alaska, I found a 
small (about 1.0 cm long) terebellid polychaete. Attached to the anterior 
abdominal setigers were two oval masses. The masses were turgid, nearly 
smooth except some very faint constrictions that may have been 
segmentation. They were both attached to the left-hand side (looking down 
on the dorsal surface, buccal tentacles up) of the setigers by a very 
narrow, short stalk. One (the larger of the two) was attached to the 
abdominal setiger 1 or 2, while the second was on abdominal setiger 5 or 
6. Superficially, these look very much like the externae of Rhizocephalan 
barnacles (I know that's not what these are, just giving a mental picture). I 
did not attempt to identify the Terebellid, I am not skilled enough with this 
family to insure I wouldn't damage the "parasites" in the process. 
Superficially it looks like the common Thelepus sp. that is found in these 
same samples.  

I was wondering if anyone had an idea about what these could be? I 
thought maybe a copepod, but that's only because more often than not any 
marine parasite I don't recognize turns out to be a copepod. 
Thank you- Aaron.

Aaron & Laura Baldwin
609 SMC Blvd
Sitka, Alaska 99835
<jsapb at gci.net>

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