Ficopomatus enigmaticus settlement

Harry A. ten Hove hove at
Fri Sep 10 13:33:17 EST 1999

>I am looking for informations about a possible influence of the light on
>the fixing of Ficopomatus enigmaticus.
>I'm doing an internship at Ifremer, La Trinite-sur-Mer (France), working
>for Patrick Camus.
>We have put slates in Vannes' harbour and noticed that the worms were
>fixed on one side more than on the other.
>Could someone give us more informations about that?
>Thank you for your help.
>Sophie Untersinger
>e-mail : sophie.untersinger at

I may have missed possible answers to this question, but seen none so far.
Hence this late reply.

Maybe the few answers (unless sent to you directly) is because of the
openness of your question. Of course, light is not the only factor
influencing settling, and in what I can see from your two lines about your
experiment, for instance currents might have some effect as well. Then it
absolutely is not evident what you have done yourself to find literature,
not motivating for others to step in.

A simple computersearch via your University Library in the biosis database
for fouling might come up with about 10000 titles (maybe even more, I
cannot recall the exact numbers from 10 years ago when I had my last go at
it). Adding Ficopomatus and Mercierella (its older synonym is not
automatically recognized by a computer) to the key-words might bring the
number down to 100 or so, and give you a nice start for tackling your
problem. Ficopomatus enigmaticus is one of the species most published
about, it figures in my indexes with about 500 titles, and if I remember
correctly there are at least 15 Russian papers on Mercierella fouling in
Black Sea, Caspian Sea and thereabouts alone.

You might find some information of interest for your studies in the
following, aselect list of papers:

Dixon, D.R., 1980.- The energetics of tube production by Mercierella
enigmatica (Polychaeta:  Serpulidae). J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 60: 655-659,
2 figs.

Dixon, D.R., 1981.- Reproductive biology of the serpulid Ficopomatus
(Mercierella) enigmatica  in the Thames estuary, S.E. England. J. mar.
biol. Ass. U.K. 61: 805-815, 6 figs.

Straughan, D., 1972a.- Ecological studies of Mercierella enigmatica Fauvel
(Annelida: Polychaeta) in the Brisbane River. J. Anim. Ecol. 41: 93-136, 12

Straughan, D., 1972b.- The influence of seasonal rainfall and water
temperature on the population of Mercierella enigmatica Fauvel (Annelida:
Polychaeta) in the Ross River estuary, North Queensland. J. exp. mar. Biol.
Ecol. 9: 165-172, 4 figs.

Be aware however, that Straughan mixed up two species of Ficopomatus:
enigmaticus and uschakovi, and that most probably her observations regard
the latter species (see Hove, H.A. ten, & J.C.A. Weerdenburg, 1978.- A
generic revision of the brackish-water serpulid Ficopomatus (Southern 1921)
(Polychaeta: Serpulinae), including Mercierella Fauvel 1923, Sphaeropomatus
Treadwell 1934, Mercierellopsis Rioja 1945 and Neopomatus Pillai 1960.
Biol. Bull. 154: 96-120, 6 figs.)

Thorp, C.H., 1987.- Ecological studies on the serpulid Ficopomatus
enigmaticus (Fauvel) in a brackish millpond. Porcupine Newsl. 4, 1: 14-19,
8 figs.

Thorp, C.H., 1994.- Population variation in Ficopomatus enigmaticus
(Fauvel) (Polychaeta, Serpulidae) in a brackish millpond at Emsworth, West
Sussex, U.K. . In: J.-C. Dauvin & L. Laubier & D.J. Reish (eds), 1994.
Actes de la 4ème Conf. int. Polychètes. Mém. Mus. natn. Hist. nat. 162:
585-591, 1 fig., 2 tabs.

Vuillemin, S., 1965.- Contribution à l'étude écologique du lac de Tunis.
Biologie de Mercierella enigmatica Fauvel. Thesis, Paris, A 4622 (5469),
554 pp., illustrated.

dr. Harry A. ten Hove
Institute for Systematics and Ecology
Zoological Museum, University of Amsterdam
POB 94766, 1090 GT AMSTERDAM

TEL. 3120 5256906
FAX. 3120 5255402

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