Brazilian Mesochaetopterus

Daniel Martin dani at
Mon Sep 24 06:02:41 EST 2001

[There is no picture attached - large binaries are not permitted  - these 
should  be put on web sites for those that want them - Moderator Annelida]

Dear folks,

I am looking for the type material of a large Brazilian 
Mesochaetopterus called M. xerecus Petersen & Fanta 1969 (On two new 
species of Mesochaetopterus (Polychaeta) from the Brazilian coast. 
Beiträge zur Neotropischen Fauna 6(2): 120-136), coming from the 
Brazilian coast of the States of Sao Paulo (Island of Sao Sebastiao 
and Ubatuba) and Espirito Santo (Santa Cruz) and living in intertidal 
sandy beaches up to a few meters deep.

According to the original description of the species, the types were 
deposited in the Dept. of Physiology of the Univ. of Sao Paulo. 
However, none of the Brazilian colleagues we have contacted 
(including Drs. Petti and Lana) know their location (neither of the 
types nor of the whole collected material). Unfortunately, Dr. 
Petersen dead some years ago, and I have no news on his student E.S. 

The worm is very characteristic, with a pair of long whitish-brownish 
palps, with dark brown rings of variable width. The palps may reach 
up to 15 cm long and, according to the authors, the worm itself may 
reach up to 60 cm long. They live in vertical tubes built with a 
sand-mucus aggregate that may reach up to 1 m in length. I have 
attached a JPEG picture of a living worm in case of some intrepid 
"sandy-bottom-diving" lovers would like to recognize it underwater.

Any news on the collection, the second author or the existence of 
additional material will be highly welcomed. The reason of this 
message is that I have found a very similar worm just in front of my 
laboratory (certainly far away from the type locality) and I would 
like to compare the Brazilian worm with the Catalan one.

Thank you very much for your time.


<dani at>

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