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[Annelida] How big can terebellids get?

Mario H. Londoño Mesa via annelida%40net.bio.net (by mariolon from gmail.com)
Wed Apr 21 17:41:04 EST 2010

Hi All,
In Mexican Caribbean, I have found terebellids (Eupolymnia) with 15-20 cm
long in thorax and abdomen, and with almost 100 cm long in extended
tentacles, in living animals. When the animal is stressed or fixed,
tentacles could reduced until 7-10 cm. Nevertheless, these terebellids I
have seen come from rocky bottoms, at about 2-3 m depth.

According to the picture, sand prints are straight, concentric from the
central point, which make me think that they could be marks of tentacles
from any terebellid or relative to them. They use to extend the tentacles
almost in straight direction, only moving the tips for touching everyting in
the substrate. In rocky bottoms, it is almost impossible to have such
surface, but I have seen almost the same observation in sand bottoms.

Mario Londoño

2010/4/21 Will Ambrose <wambrose from bates.edu>

> Not all a Terebellids' tentacles need be out at one time. This looks just
> like a Terebellid. There is a relationship between tentacle length and worm
> length, but it does not follow that a worm need be longer than its
> tentacles. But, Terebellids can get quite large-10-15 cm.
> Will
> Geoff Read wrote:
>> Actually, I have another suggestion. If those are mainly feeding trace
>> grooves rather than tentacles (the photo size is too small to tell, and
>> there is high contrast, but I am suspicious) it could be an echiuran burrow
>> in the middle. They have amazingly long reach with a single proboscis. Yes,
>> terebellids get very big - but don't they have many more tentacles than
>> that?
>> Geoff
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