[Annelida] Barbara's Notomastus

Petersen, Mary Elizabeth MEPetersen at snm.ku.dk
Thu Jun 16 11:37:43 EST 2005

16 June 2005
Barbara and Myles,
Try looking at a description of Notomastus fauveli Day. Use Ward & Fauchald 1997 Bibliography to get the original description if you don't have Day's 1967 monograph. The species is included here but was published separately earlier. It has what look to me like linearly arranged (each as a short transverse line of 5-6 or more short filaments) branchiae on each side of the animal - he shows a cross section. 
>From Barbara's photos, I think the brilliant red filaments are too regularly arranged in rows to be ovisacs of parasitic copepods, although we all know that these can cause a lot of confusion. Also, some filaments seem to have broken off, and the bases look like broken branchiae, not like the tail end of a copepod.
If the species is this, it may be a new distribution record and perhaps an introduced species, but as I wrote to Barbara earlier, I have not been looking at Notomastus, so I may be overlooking better possibilities.
Dr. Mary E. Petersen
Research Associate, Polychaeta
Darling Marine Center, University of Maine
193 Clark's Cove Road, Walpole, ME 04573, USA
E-mail: mepetersen at maine.edu
Tel. DMC: +1 (207) 563-3146 ext. 222
Fax DMC: +1 (207) 563-3119

I was fascinated by the odd looking gills on your Notomastus. Are they present on all worms? I have never seen any gills on Notomastus from Scottish waters but I have been studying parasitic copepods from polychaetes for a number of years and think it is possible that these might be protruding ovisacs from some sort of endoparasites. Aphanodomus terebellae is not uncommon in terebellids but usually only onserved when the ovisacs protrude from the host.  I have collected an undescribed species (probably a new genus or family!) of endoparasitic copepod from Notomastus around UK waters - but this species does not appear to extrude its ovisacs.  I cannot discern actual eggs in the appendages in your photos and they should come in pairs for copepods.  On the other hand there variable size, location and orientation on the body does suggest to me that that they are not part of the worms normal morphology.  Can't tell much more without a closer examination or dissection of the peculiar appendages. 

All for now. 

Myles O'Reilly 
Senior Marine Biologist 
Scottish Environment Protection Agency 
Redwood Crescent 
Peel Park 
East Kilbride 
Glasgow G74 5PP 

Tel. 01355 574 249 
Fax. 01355 574 688 

-----Original Message----- 
From: B Paavo [mailto:paavo at wormguy.com] 
Sent: 13 June 2005 10:27 
To: annelida at net.bio.net 
Subject: [Annelida] Barbara's Notomastus 

Aloha Annelid Folks, 

The Notomastus images Barbara raised for discussion are posted in a gallery 


if that helps. 

Brian 8) 

Annelida mailing list 
Annelida at iubio.bio.indiana.edu 

This e-mail has been scanned for all viruses by Star. The 
service is powered by MessageLabs. For more information on a proactive 
anti-virus service working around the clock, around the globe, visit: 


More information about the Annelida mailing list