[Annelida] inking in alciopids

Colin Hermans via annelida%40net.bio.net (by hermans from rockisland.com)
Tue Mar 3 19:29:46 EST 2009

Dear Mikhail and Geoff:

I think it is an outrageous coincidence that alciopids and  
cephalopods have evolved eyes that are so similar in structure right  
down to the ultrastructural level (Hermans, C.O. and R.M. Eakin  
(l974) Fine structure of the eyes of an alciopid polychaete, Vanadis  
tagensis.  Zeit. Morph. Tiere. 79:245-267).  Now on top of that, both  
groups have evolved inking. - Do alciopids really ink?

What other group of aquatic animals ink?  Is their a connection  
between great vision, and the evolution of inking?  Like the shedding  
of tails by certain lizards, inking must be of value to the prey of a  
visual predator.  The complexity of the eyes of alciopids suggests  
that they may be visual predators. - but then why would they ink?  It  
would just mess up their own vision.  Maybe visual deception, as  
practiced by cephalopod, and perhaps, by alciopids, could be the link  
between inking in the two groups?

Just a thought, with best regards, Colin

On Mar 2, 2009, at 5:26 PM, Geoff Read wrote:

> Hi Mikhail,
> I didn't know of this ability. But as it is in Google's database  
> you will have seen the 1975 reference below. I mention it for  
> others as a starter point for any earlier references.
> Hamner, W.M.; Madin, L.P.; Alldredge, A.L.; Gilmer, R.W.; Hamner,  
> P.P. (1975). Underwater observations of gelatinous zooplankton:  
> sampling problems, feeding biology, and behavior. Limnology and  
> Oceanography 20(6): 907-917.  http://aslo.org/lo/toc/vol_20/ 
> issue_6/0907.pdf
> p.915 "several alciopid polychaetes that released reddish-brown  
> streamers of pigment as they swam away"
> Tomopterid bioluminescence is apparently mentioned in Herring, P.J.  
> 1987. Systematic distribution of bioluminescence in living  
> organisms. J.
> Biolum. Chemilum. 1 :147-163.
> Geoff
>>>> On 3/03/2009 at 1:37 p.m., mikhail matz <matz from mail.utexas.edu>  
>>>> wrote:
>> Dear colleagues,
>> I am looking for references on inking in acyopids. This remarkable
>> phenomenon seems to be common knowledge among blue-water divers, but
>> proves to be surprisingly difficult to trace in the literature. I am
>> now writing a review about animal fluorescence, and want to see if
>> anybody described what I observed - fluorescent ink in some alcyopids
>> (would look pale yellow in a collection jar in daylight). If not
>> that, I would tremendously appreciate references to any kind of
>> defensive inking in these cute worms.
>> best,
>> Misha
>> Mikhail V. Matz
>> University of Texas at Austin
>> Integrative Biology Section
>> 1 University station C0930
>> Austin, TX 78712
>> phone 512-992-8086 cell, 512-475-6424 lab
>> fax 512-471-3878
>> web http://www.bio.utexas.edu/research/matz_lab
> -- 
>  Geoff Read <g.read from niwa.co.nz>
>   http://www.annelida.net/
>   http://www.niwascience.co.nz/ncabb/
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