Sipuncula / Echiura Online Newsletter #3 June 2004
*For those you you worm folks who might be interested, e.c.
Compiled by Edward B. Cutler
Another year has past and while not everyone has responded to my invitation
most have done so. If any of you have corrections or addition, or if those of
you who did not respond to me, now wish to share some news please use your
Reply to all option. What was a sneak preview last year is now in full
view lower Cambrian sipunculan fossils from China. Another carryover theme
is the collaboration that has continued among our family members plus the
sharing of our intellectual resources with others both are healthy signs of
our struggle for survival as a knowledge-based community. Additionally through
the efforts of Anja and Gisele, there is the beginnings of a significant
library of digital photographs of these worms, which can more easily be shared
? Kotor Symposium 2 ?
In 1970 a group of biologist gathered in Kotor, Yugoslavia for a week long
International Symposium on the Biology of Sipuncula and Echiura that was
organized by Mary Rice. During Giseles recent visit , she proposed that we
consider a second such gathering in Brazil in 2005. She suggested that the
marine lab at Sao Sebastiao would be a good location with appropriate
facilities for up to 30 persons. At this time this is, of course, only an
idea. But, she has asked me to use this means to get some feedback on your
interest level. So, please let Gisele know of your interest in such an idea
whether it is high, medium, or low or 0. Any comments about content,
duration, need for subsidy, etc. would be welcome. Gisele Yukimi Kawauchi
[ykawauch at usp.br]
Europe / British Isles
Ukraine: Galena Vantsetti Murina - [murina at ibss.iuf.net]
She writes that 2003 and the first part of 2004 were unfavorable for her
Sipuncula investigations. She has only a small Vietnam collection (see
below). She sent the list of species to Dr. Temir Britaev (a Polychaete
specialist from Moscow Institute of Morphology and Embryology). Temir
answered her that he and his colleagues received a new collection of Vietnam
sipunculan and in his opinion it is better to include this new material in her
future paper. On 21 June she left for a two-week trip to Moscow to receive
this new material for identification.
Her small paper "Finding of marine worms Sipuncula and Echiura on the site of
"Titanic wreck will be published in the Ukrainian journal "Vestnik zoology"
(in Russian) in the near future (see below).
Her new Turkish pupil Sermin Acik continues to identify Sipuncula from Cyprus.
She measures Cyprus material and hopes to determine some important metric
characters of the Onchnesoma steenstrupii steenstrupii, Aspidosiphon
muelleri muelleri, Aspidosiphon muelleri kovalevskii such as length of
trunk, introvert, diameter of eggs etc. Galena has also been in collaboration
with a biologist from Canada: Arthur Anker <aanker at ualberta.ca>. He asked for
help identifying ECHIURA from Venezuela. Preliminary identification was
Ochetostoma erythrogrammon. She asked Teruaki Nishikawa for help in the
identification of these worms.
List of Sipuncula species from the coastal waters of South China Sea
(Njachang, Vietnam), sampled in 2003 by Prof. Britaevs groups. Aspidosiphon
muelleri kovalevskii, Aspidosiphon mexicanus, Aspidosiphon elegans, Apionsoma
trichocephalus, Apionsoma murinae, Sipunculus nudus, Sipunculus sp. Golfingia
elongata, Golfingia SP, Thysanocardia catharinae Remark. Two species
Aspidosiphon mexicanus (Murina, 1967), Apionsoma murinae Cutler, 1969; and one
subspecies Aspidosiphon muelleri kovalevskii Murina, 1964 are new for South
Finding of marine worms Sipuncula and Echiura on the site of Titanic wreck
V.V. Murina. The small material (24 sipunculans and 1 echiuran) was collected
in North-West of Atlantic from 3 deep-sea stations during the 46th cruise of
r/v Akademic Mstislav Keldysh. Four species of sipunculans and one species
of echiuran were identified. The description of Alomasoma chaetiferum was
added by new morphological signs.
Russia: Taras B.Morozov - [tmorozov at marbio.dvgu.ru]
Neither Murina nor I have heard from him during the past year, but today he
did respond with:Now I write PhD-dissertation: "Comparative morphology and
ultrastructure of nephridia in Sipuncula".
I look forward to hearing more details about this project.
Spain: J. I. Saiz-Salinas - [zopsasaj at lgdx04.lg.ehu.es]
The Old and the New might be the theme for Inyaki this past year. His
collaboration with his Chinese colleagues on the Cambrian sipunculans (old)
has been accepted (see elsewhere) and he spent 3 weeks in Brazil helping
Gisele (new) develop more confidence working with those small Nephasoma, and
other Brazilian taxa. Inyaki will be presenting a talk at the Polychaete
Conference in Madrid this July about an unusual bonelliid with bundles of
Norway: Christoffer Schander - christoffer.schander at bio.uib.no
His news is that he has recently taken a new position at the University of
Bergen. Bergen has a good field station and ships that will be very useful for
future collection. Please also note the new e-mail address below. Christoffer
Schander, Professor, Marine Biodiversity University of Bergen, Department of
Biology (IFM) Postbox 7800, NO-5020 Bergen, NORWAY
Denmark: Jorgen Hylleberg - [hylleberg at biology.au.dk]
His wife Karen has taken on more administrative/communication roles for Jorgen
and tells us that he is entirely working at home at the moment checking and
finishing his "Lexical Approach to Cardiacea", 3 volumes. The first volume is
already finished but not sent out yet. The next two volumes should be ready to
send to the printer hopefully within 10 days. PMBC (the lab in Phuket,
Thailand) is at the moment a confusing place. They were there in mid April.
The lab will she is sure -- go back to normal again. The reason is that PMBC
was transferred to a new ministry, so PMBC got also a lot of new jobs.
Jorgens important collection of Sipuncula awaits him there.
England no word from Peter Gibbs, seems to be fully retired.
Germany no word from Rene Hessling for the past year.
South Africa: R. Biseswar - moodleygk at ukzn.ac.za
He has been occupied with identifying and describing deep-sea echiurans
received through the courtesy of Joelle Galeron CENTOB, Brest, France. The
specimens were collected during the BENGAL cruises during September 1996 and
October 1998 in the Porcupine Abyssal Plain in the North-East Atlantic.
Identification and descriptions of the specimens are almost complete and the
publication in ZOOSYSTEMA is envisaged. *New contact details: R. Biseswar,
Discipline: Zoology School of Biology, Faculty of Science University of
KwaZulu-Natal, (Westville Campus) Private Bag X54001, Durban, 4000, South
Japan: Teruaki Nishikawa - [nishikawa at num.nagoya-u.ac.jp]
His primary focus continues to be the prochordate taxa, but his paper on the
echiuran Listriolobus mentioned in last years Newsletter has just appeared:
Nishikawa, T. 2004 Synonymy of the West-Pacific echiuran Listriolobus
sorbillans (Echiura: Echiuridae), with taxonomic notes towards a generic
revision. Species Diversity, 9: 109-123 He and some colleagues at Kanagawa
University are still working with the DNA successfully extracted from the 4
putative species of Urechis and hope to complete that work in a few months.
The data from the CO1 gene shows a high degree of similarity for all four,
about 82-84% but unclear branching patterns. Thus, additional genes will be
China: Diying Huang email: Huang Diying [chaton215 at yahoo.com]
This paper we hinted at last year has been accepted by the Proc. Royal
Society London and should be online in early July and as hard copy by late
August. Early Cambrian sipunculan worms from southwest China Di-Ying Huang,
Jun-Yuan Chen, Jean Vannier, J. I. Saiz Salinas.
Abstract: We report the discovery of sipunculan worms from the Lower Cambrian
Maotianshan Shale, near Kunming (southwest China). Their sipunculan identity
is evidenced by the general morphology of the animals (sausage-shaped body
with a slender retractable introvert and a wider trunk) and by other features,
both external (e.g. perioral crown of tentacles; hooks, papillae and wrinkle
rings on the body surface) and internal (U-shaped gut; and the anus opening
near the introvert-trunk junction). The three fossil forms (Archaeogolfingia
caudata gen. et sp. nov., Cambrosipunculus tentaculatus gen. et sp. nov. and
C. sp.) have striking similarities with modern sipunculans, especially the
Golfingiidae to which their evolutionary relationships are discussed. This
study suggests that most typical features of recent sipunculans have undergone
only limited changes since the Early Cambrian, thus indicating a possible
evolutionary stasis over the past 520 Myr.
He also has two recent papers on one of the old Gephyrea, the latest being:
Geobios 37 (2004) 217228 Recent Priapulidae and their Early Cambrian
ancestors: comparisons and evolutionary significance. Diying Huang, Jean
Vannier, JunYuan Chen The same authors also published a second paper in 2004:
Lethaia 37:25-33. Anatomy and life styles of early Cambrian priapulid worms
exemplified by Corynetis and Anningbermis from the Maotianshan shale (SW
India no word from B. P. Haldar since last year.
India - Naveen Namboodiri
The last contact I had was last August. when he was working hard to meet a
September deadline for his thesis. In the coral communities of Great Nicobar
he has many of the more common phascolosomatids and Aspidosiphonids, but that
part of his work was unfinished.
South/Central America / Caribbean
Cuba: Carlos Varela Perez - [cvarela at cim.co.cu]
His group is continuing a survey of the benthic community along the
northwestern coast of Cuba that was begun in January, but has no sipunculan
news. This will supplement collections made earlier from the central north
coast. There is a student working with the group who hopes to develop
expertise with sipunculans and perhaps make them the subject of her thesis. We
wish her well... Centro de Investigations Marinas, Universidad de La Habana
Calle 16 #114 e/ 1ra y 3ra, Playa, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba Telefono (537)
203-0617 http://www.uh.cu/centros/cim/index.htm or
Chile no news from Eduardo Tarifeno since last year.
Brazil: Gisele Yukimi Kawauchi - [ykawauch at usp.br]
She writes: Last year I received an invitation from Dr Edward Cutler to go to
USA and work in the MCZ collections. I had the opportunity to spend 2 weeks in
June visiting the Natural History Museum of Harvard. It was a wonderful time
because I had the opportunity to exchange ideas and clarify my doubts with Dr.
Cutler and compared my material with specimens in that collection.
Additionally, I met with Dr. Mary Rice and Dr. Anja Schulz at Fort Pierce. Now
I am finishing my PhD at Sao Paulo University (under the guidance of Alvaro
Migotto ) and thinking about my future. *Be sure to read her thought about a
second Sipuncula symposium on p.1.
USA: Anja Schulze - schulze at sms.si.edu
Anja writes: At Harvard, I have accumulated a large database of sipunculan DNA
sequences. I have sequenced five genes for over 60 species, some of them with
multiple representatives from different parts of the world. Unless we have
more taxa to add (e.g. Gisele got us a Sipunculus phalloides that we have not
sequenced yet), I am hoping to finish the analysis, in combination with
morphological data, this fall. In April I moved to Florida to work as a
postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Marine Station for two years. My main
project is the development of the nervous system, focusing on Nephasoma
pellucidum. For that purpose, I use antibody stains in conjunction with
confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. So
far, the larvae are doing well but I need to figure out what induces them to
metamorphose, so I can follow the development to the juvenile stage. Mary and
I are also working on our larval identification project. We are trying to
identify planktonic sipunculan larvae using DNA sequence data and comparison
with the adults. We have obtained some sequences from Lee Weigt at the
Smithsonian Laboratory of Analytical Biology and want to add a few more. In
December, we presented the results of our visit to Belize in the spring of
2003 at the symposium "The Twin Cays Mangrove Ecosystem, Belize: Biodiversity,
Geological History, and Two Decades of Change" in Fort Pierce, FL and recently
submitted a short paper to the proceedings of this symposium in the Atoll
Research Bulletin. This paper contains a key to the 14 species found in the
vicinity of the Carrie Bow Cay field station that might also be useful for
other Caribbean collections. *New contact info: Smithsonian Marine Station,
701 Seaway Drive Fort Pierce, FL 34949, USA Phone: 772-465-6630 x 105
USA: Mary Rice - [rice at sms.si.edu]
She writes: This has been an exciting year for sipunculan biology at the
Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS). As you will see from Anja Schulze's report,
we are collaborating on the identification of oceanic larvae through
comparisons of adult and larval DNA sequence data, hoping to confirm and add
to the information that I have accumulated over the years by studies of larval
morphology and rearing in the laboratory. With Anja now in residence at SMS
as a postdoctoral fellow in the life histories program, the next two years
promise to be a productive time for research on sipunculan development. She
will be investigating questions of considerable phylogenetic and evolutionary
interest concerning the development of the sipunculan nervous system. We were
pleased to have a brief visit from Gisele Kawauchi, who stopped by SMS on her
way to see Ed at Harvard. We spent a great day immersed in discussions of
sipunculans. We look forward to the completion of Gisele's dissertation on the
systematics of the sipunculans of Brazil. It will be a significant
contribution to sipunculan systematics. I have been asked to compile a list of
sipunculan species known from the Gulf of Mexico. This is part of an updated
survey on the biota of the Gulf of Mexico being sponsored by the Harte
Institute and Texas A&M. If anyone knows of sources that would help in this
effort, please pass them on. I would be most grateful to receive any
USA: Joseph Staton - [jstaton at gwm.sc.edu]
Joe has been immersed in a genetics project on crustacean toxicology this
summer in Charleston and renovating his new house in Beaufort on weekends. He
is hoping to free up some time next month to get back to other projects.
USA: Harlan K. Dean - [hdean1 at mindspring.com]
He continues to collaborate with me as seen in our New Zealand report noted
elsewhere even though his primary area of interest is the polychaetes
especially those of Costa Rica. In his field work there last summer he
collected a single specimen of Aspidosiphon albus Murina, 1967 from the
Pacific side of Costa Rica, just off the tip of Punta Morales in about 10
meters of water. This is the first report of this species from the Pacific
Ocean, previously known only from Cape Hatteras (USA) to Brazil in the western
Atlantic. This identification was independently verified by Gisele during her
recent visit to Harvard.
USA: Ed Cutler - ebcutler at earthlink.net
Comings and Goings might be my theme for the year. As youll read elsewhere
Anja Schulze finished her two years with us here at Harvard in April and has
relocated in warmer latitudes with Mary Rice. Towards the end of May Gisele
Kawauchi was my guest here for two weeks using our collection as a cross-
reference with the 35 species she has in her Brazilian material. We spent many
hours discussing morphological characters and their variations, among other
things, and she made good use of the MCZ library (also saw a Red Sox game
Bostons baseball team.). Two articles have been published this year most of
you have seen these: Cutler, E. B. & A. Schulze, 2004- SIPUNCULA FROM
BARBADOS, INCLUDING TWO NEW FOR THE ISLAND PLUS SIPHONOSOMA VASTUM; FIRST
RECORD FROM THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. Bulletin of Marine Science 74(1):225-228.
(abstract was in last years Newsletter) Cutler, E. B., A. Schulze & H. Dean.
2004. The Sipuncula of sublittoral New Zealand, with a key to all New Zealand
species. Zootaxa 525: 119 Both of these are available as pdf files. Four
items submitted 2 or 3 years ago, are still in press but might yet get
published this year, and I still intend to prepare a formal proposal to move
Phascolopsis from the Sipunculidae to the Golfingiidae. The monotypic genus
Siphonomecus remains the single genus missing from our collective DNA database
but I do expect to obtain material from Florida later this year.
Finally, in addition to my ever diminishing eyesight from Retinitus
pigmentosa, plus Type 2 diabetes, I have recently been diagnosed with
metastatic prostate cancer which is being controlled using androgen
depravation therapy. - Life Goes ON!
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