FW: [Annelida] Capitella

Mary E. Petersen mepetersen at maine.edu
Wed Jun 28 15:09:21 EST 2006

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Dear Colleagues,

Something happened and I think most of you did not get the full post.
Judging from his response to me, I think Greg did. In any event, this is try
number 2 – from a very wet and rainy Maine!


E-mail:  <mailto:mepetersen at maine.edu> mepetersen at maine.edu
Tel. DMC: +1-207-563-3146 x 222
Fax DMC: +1-207-563-3119
 <http://www.dmc.maine.edu/MW2005.pdf> www.dmc.maine.edu/MW2005.pdf
 <http://www.dmc.maine.edu/MW2005.pdf> www.dmc.maine.edu/wormsinfo.html -
info for IPC-9



From: Mary E. Petersen [mailto:mepetersen at maine.edu] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 5:06 AM
To: 'Rouse, Greg (SAM)'; 'annelida at magpie.bio.indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [Annelida] Capitella


Dear Colleagues,

The type region of Capitella capitata (O. Fabricius, 1780, originally as
Lumbricus) is the Frederikshaab/Paamiut area of SW Greenland. Fabricius does
not seem to have given any place names for localities for the different
species, therefore my use of region or area. 

Otto Fabricius lived in Frederikshaab/Paamiut. The closest recently sampled
marine locality to this is the Ikka Fjord, where people from the Zoological
Museum, University of Copenhagen (ZMUC, now changed to SNM, The Natural
History Museum of Denmark) and colleagues from elsewhere studied and sampled
different parts of the fjord in connection with a study of the Ikka columns,
but it is unlikely that Fabricius ever saw this fjord. I have not been to
Greenland, but Fabricius very clearly states that the species he describes
is a sand-bottom species (see below), and not from mud. 

Except for the formatting (I have not centered anything), and overlooked
typos, the following is an exact copy of a translation of the Latin text on
Lumbricus capitatus in Otto Fabricius’ Fauna Groenlandica
, kindly made
available by the Translation Bureau of the National Museums of Canada,
through a request from Judy Fournier, who also helped us to get translations
of many Russian papers. The species treated are all numbered. L. capitatus
is No. 263. Comments in square brackets [ ] are mine.

[Page 22 of translation]

“263. LUMBRICUS CAPITATUS.*” [The asterisk denotes that this is a new

            Lumbricus, red, with four rows of aculei, anteriorly thicker,
very thin posteriorly.

Lumbricus littoralis minor, Ol.611, b. 
[Eggert Olafssens og Bjarne Povelsens Rejse igiennem Island Soröe 1772.
(Travels through the Icelandic Soröe by Eggert Olafssen and Bjarne Povelsen
1772). [Fabricius considered this a synonym.]


            Description: Almost as long as Lumbricus terrestris. Cylindrical
(but below a bit flatter, subcanaliculate), rings with deep grooves. Body
segments 42-82: the 7 anterior ones thicker and ending in a briefly
acuminate rostrum; the more posterior ones gradually tapering, so that
posterior extremity is very slender, only as thick as a fine thread, but not
pointed; these segments are more fragile, oblong and almost chain-like. The
whole, above and below, has 3 rows (below closer together) having minute
setigerous jaws which in first 7 articles are barely visible, with larger
setae always visible, and (apparently) not retractile; the rest provided
with larger setae including prominent one. Impressed mouth aperture below at
base of rostrum.

            Colour of anterior part red, (in a few specimens somewhat
bluish), but posterior part variegated white, red and grey (sometimes
greenish), but extremity generally white.

            Habitat: In littoral sand and under stones.

            Under the sandy bottom, builds small burrows for itself, is
barely visible on bottom, but makes spiral mounds pushing out sand through
upper aperture.”


That’s it. I am working on an annotated translation of the worms treated by
Fabricius, and will incorporate new or possibly new information in his
unpublished notebooks. For some species, incl. Capitella capitata, Fabricius
has pasted a drawing of the species into the margin. Although the drawing of
C. capitata does not have a lot of detail, it is immediately recognizable as
a capitellid, and very likely also as the genus we today recognize as
Capitella, at least sensu lato. For some species, the notebooks provide
additional information or corrections; for others, not much is new. 

As regards type material of polychaetes, as Greg mentioned, it all appears
to have been lost with the possible exception of some dried tubes, perhaps
without worms. I think either Fabricius or another person mentioned
something about glass containers breaking when material was being sent back
to Denmark.

I think it is still possible to designate a figure as a lectotype, but in
such case it would cause least frustration if the necessary more detailed
description could be based upon Greenlandic material from the described
habitat (sand) and as close to the type area/region as possible.  


E-mail: mepetersen at maine.edu
Tel. DMC: +1-207-563-3146 x 222
Fax DMC: +1-207-563-3119
www.dmc.maine.edu/ <http://www.dmc.maine.edu/MW2005.pdf> wormsinfo.html -
info for IPC-9



From: annelida-bounces at oat.bio.indiana.edu
[mailto:annelida-bounces at oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of Rouse, Greg (SAM)
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:04 PM
To: annelida at magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: RE: [Annelida] Capitella


Unless I am mistaken, the type locality for Capitella capitata Fabricius
1780 is Greenland (and a not easily accessible part of Greenland at that).
There is no existing type material, so fixing C. capitata, and arguably
other names for this 'complex', depends on recollecting from the type
locality and seeing what kind (or kinds) of Capitella occur there and then
fixing the name to a neotype; thats if one is fan of types of
course...(thanks ICZN). I presume this would have been done long ago, except
for the difficult naure of the type locality.....

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