Indonesian 'Palolo'

Kristian Fauchald Fauchald.Kristian at nmnh.si.edu
Tue Jan 12 16:03:25 EST 1999


Sorry guys, I have been off e-mail for a while.  There are actually  
several possibilities for the "palolo" in that area.  It could be Palola  viridis 
(DO NOT USE  Eunice, please; it is definitely a distinct, separate  
genus).  It could also be Palola siciliensis, but also, quite confusing,  one 
or more species of Lysidice also swarm with the palolo's in most  areas.  
Thus, without specimens in hand, there is little to be done.   Furthermore, 
having just the swarming posterior ends does not help:  Most  of the major 
features needed for identification are associated with the  head end, 
which remains buried in the coral/rubble environment.  In  addition, these 
taxa are not really identificable without having complete  atoke 
specimens.  

I know I am not helping a lot with this, but the situation is unfortunately not 
simple.  The exact details of the swarming varies from one island  group 
to the next.  The classical early October swarming originally  described is 
not the only one.  There are other island groups where the  swarming 
takes place in April; others in November and so forth.  The  pattern in 
general remains closely linked to the lunar cycle, but can vary  a bit in 
how closely focused it is (i.e., how many days over which the  swarming 
occurs).  

Kristian Fd
<Fauchald.Kristian at NMNH.SI.EDU>


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