[Annelida] identification help request during tea/ coffee break

Mary E. Petersen via annelida%40net.bio.net (by mepetersen from maine.edu)
Wed Apr 25 17:27:10 EST 2007

Hi Richard,

You have some nice photos there. Be sure to let us know when you add more

Your red errant polychaete is probably Lysidice ninetta Audouin & Milne
Edwards, 1834 (or maybe 1833). It belongs to the family Eunicidae, and the
genus Lysidice. The 1933 date is that listed on a Spanish web site. As the
1834 book was based on a number of articles published earlier, the 1833 date
may actually be the correct one. The pagination of the articles is different
from the book version, but as far as I remember, the articles were used as
was in the book.

Lysidice ninetta appears to be the only UK eunicid with three antennae, no
dorsal cirri on the apodous segment and the color pattern shown. Both the
reddish anterior segments with fine white spots and the pale (white?) ring
on chaetiger 2 should be diagnostic. 

This species seems to be best treated by George & Hartmann-Schröder in
British Fauna No. 32 (1985, see ref. below)). See pp. 92-93 for a brief
discussion of the family and a key to four genera and 11 species of
Eunicidae, and pp. 106-107 for a description and figures of Lysidice

Eunice (6 spp.) and Marphysa (3 spp.) both have five antennae, but only
Eunice species have two dorsal cirri on the apodous segment. The other two
genera, Nematonereis and Lysidice, each with one species in British waters,
have one and three antennae, respectively, and no cirri on the apodous
segment. Marphysa also lacks cirri, but has five antennae, so there is no
danger of confusion.

This species is NOT treated in the handbook version of Hayward & Ryland, but
may be in the larger version. Hartmann-Schröder 1996 (revised edition of
Tierwelt Deutschland) does not treat it either. 

Day, J.H. 1967. Polychaetes of southern Africa. British Museum (Natural
History). Day treats three species, one of which is L. ninetta, and your
photo also seems to key out to this with his descriptions.

Fauvel, P. 1923. Faune de France. Polychètes Errantes. (see p. 411.)

George, J.D. & G. Hartmann-Schröder. 1983. Polychaetes: British Amphinomida,
Spintherida and Eunicida. IN: Synopsis of the British Fauna (New Series),
Eds. D.M. Kermack & R.S.K. Barnes. Published for The Linnnean Society of
London & The Estuarine and Brackish-Water Sciences Association.

Thanks for sharing the photos.


Dr. Mary E. Petersen
Scholar in Residence, Polychaeta
Darling Marine Center, University of Maine
193 Clark's Cove Road
Walpole, ME 04573-3307, USA

E-mail: mepetersen from maine.edu
Tel. DMC: +1-207-563-3146 x 222
Fax DMC: +1-207-563-3119

- UPDATED info for IPC-9

-----Original Message-----
From: annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu
[mailto:annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Lord
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:35 AM
To: annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: [Annelida] identification help request during tea/ coffee break

I have started an image gallery of marine annelids from Guernsey, Great
Britain at


The gallery is small at the moment but I have many photos to add.
Unfortunately, I have been concentrating on the photography and not on the

>From the limited number of field guides I possess I have not been able to
identify the errant red polychaete in the linked photo (above).  Any help in
this regard would be appreciated.  There are additional images of this
species on either side of the linked image but regrettably my watermark does
obscure some of the detail of the head tentacles in the other images.   The
image can be increased in size by moving the mouse over the image and
clicking on the size required.

The polychaete was collected from under a boulder in Belle Greve Bay on
Guernsey's east coast during the last set of low spring tides.  (The island
of Guernsey is about 80 miles south of England and 50 miles north of
Brittany, France.)

Best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Richard Lord
Guernsey GY1 1BQ
Great Britain

Tel: 01481 700688
Fax: 01481 700686
Email: fishinfo from guernsey.net 

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