Tom Parker tparker at
Mon Oct 4 18:19:25 EST 1999

James Blake wrote:
> In the soon to be published and last annelid volume (7) of the "Taxonomic Atlas
> of the Santa Maria Basin Fauna....", I have attempted to set the framework for
> the revision of Capitella that Geoff is talking about.

> Among the specimens I examined from California were three different
> morphotypes that fall into the "sensu lato" restriction I have suggested.  At
> least one of these is clearly sibling species I; I don't know if the other two
> belong to other defined siblings or are further new species.  However, the
> point is that I am able to distinguish what appear to be different species
> based on adult morphology alone.  One of these three has a distinct
> methyl green staining pattern, the others do not.


It will be an improvement if we can use a morophology table to distinguish 
different species...or even groupings of species.  Off Palos Verdes I have 
periodically encountered a recruitment of robust Capitella that have 
discrete tiny dark epidermal pigment speckles distributed either sparsely or 
densely over the entire animal.  I don't recall such a feature being 
commented upon in the literature before....does anyone else encounter 
Capitella capitata Cmplx with such epidermal freckles?  

If methyl green staining can be relied upon for species discrimination, isn't 
it likely that these dark freckles might also be of similar discriminatory 

I also have collected sexually mature Capitella capitata Cmplx no larger in 
length and diameter than a Limnodriloides oligochaete...yet appear sexually 
mature with genital spines.  Is this body size/maturity range common in 
other collections?   

bye for now,

Tom Parker
<tparker at>

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