[Annelida] Re: Bioluminescent Marine Annelids

Barbara Mikac via annelida%40net.bio.net (by barbara.mikac from cim.irb.hr)
Mon May 16 05:46:47 EST 2011

Dear Paul,

I would also say that this on your photos is some Cirratulidae species
(on the first photo back part with the pygidium - capillary chaetae can
be seen, on the second photo front part with the prostomium - you can
see eyes and curled branchiae (or tentacular filaments - not sure
here)). I wouldn't know anything about the bioluminescence in this



Barbara Mikac, PhD
Center for Marine Research
Rudjer Boskovic Institute
G. Paliaga 5
52210 Rovinj
tel: ++385 52 804722
e-mail: barbara.mikac from cim.irb.hr

On Mon, 2011-05-16 at 09:47 +0000, Paul Chambers wrote:
> Dear All,
> A friend recently reported to me that his footprints had been glowing
> when walking on a local beach at night on the south-east coast of
> Jersey (British Channel Islands). Last night he took me to the spot
> and sure enough, when the sediment (a poorly sorted gravelly sand) was
> disturbed, there would be a series of brief but bright pin points of
> lights, some of which glowed for a few seconds. If the sediment was
> kicked then a shower of 'sparks' would be emited, a bit like kicking
> an ember from a fire.
> I gathered some of the glowing sediment from several locations and
> have just looked at them under the microscope. The only animal common
> to all samples is a species of small annelid photos of which are
> attached.
> I think it may be a type of syilld but my ID guide only lists a few
> species, none of which seem to match this one. The worm is about 4mm
> in length and was found on the middle and lower shore; they would glow
> when on the sediment surface but actually seemed to be most common at
> about 2 to 5 cm depth. Last night was a full moon but my firend says
> that he has seen them on moonless nights as well.
> Pardon the pun, but can anyone shed a bit more light on the
> identifcation of this animal and the purpose of its bioluminesence
> (mating?).
> Many thanks,
> Paul Chambers
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