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[Annelida] Calaveras annelid casts

Harry Hove, ten via annelida%40net.bio.net (by harry.tenhove from naturalis.nl)
Tue Nov 11 04:41:31 EST 2014

Apologies for cross-postings, the original was oversized and rejected by
Annelida net.


Dear Chuck (and other interested persons),

Apologies that it took so long before I reported back on your questions
regarding the annelid casts from California, I (Harry) simply had too much
on my desk, and this mail was in my concept box for about 10 days before I
found time to finish it.

The photographs of the type material from the Oligocene “Serpula
rectiformis Clark, 1918 as contributed by Mark are very similar to if not
the same as the material you sent to us. [Clark, B.L., 1918.- The San
Lorenzo series of Middle California. A stratigraphic and paleontologic
study of the San Lorenzo  Oligocene series of the general region of Mount
Diablo, California. University of California Publications. Bulletin of the
Department of Geology 11: 45-234].

The below text was taken from an OCR pdf, so may still contain a few

 Subkingdom VERMES


Order Polychaeta

Genus SERPULA Linnaeus


Plate 24, figures 1 and 2

Type specimen 11262, Coll. Invert. Palae. Univ. Calif., loc. 52

A mass of straight or nearly straight calcareous circular tubes, which have

diameter of from 2 to 3 mm. The tubes are long and wherever they touch each

other they are cemented together. A tube may be cemented to another tube

along part of its length and be free from it along the remaining portion ;

the tubes, compactly massed, weave in and out among themselves to some

but in general they all lie more or less parallel. They are somewhat
smaller at

one end than at the other. The small ends of the tubes are all on the same

of the block, this side evidently being the base of the colony. Surface of

finely striated longitudinally.

Occurrence.—University of California locality 52.

They probably are the same as the photograph [IMG_0474.jpg] which initially
was sent by Larry Lovell to Annelidanet  [
. However, they are very different from the serpulid tubes from a methane
seep at about 600 m sent out for confirmation by Lisa Levin, and which
mysteriously were mixed up by gmail with the ongoing discussion on the
Miocene stuff.

Apart from that, there are some problems with the name *Serpula rectiformis*,
as indicated in:

Hove, H.A. ten, & P. van den Hurk, 1993.- A review of Recent and fossil
serpulid "reefs"; actuopaleontology and the 'Upper Malm' serpulid
limestones in NW Germany. Geol. Mijnbouw 72: 23-67, 12 figs, 5 tabs.
    [page 30]

The taxon does not belong to the serpulid genus *Serpula*, but the tubes
probably have been built by a member of the family Cirratulidae. Very
similar concretions were described in a number of papers by Fischer et al
under the name *Diplochaetetes mexicanus *Wilson, 1968, a presumed




We (Alexei and I) compared material of *Diplochaetetes mexicanus* (courtesy
Fischer some decades ago) with that of *“Serpula rectiformis”* as sent to
us by you (Chuck), and it is very similar indeed, though there seem to be
some minute differences. Alexei broke off a piece of the few kilograms of
rock for further study (SEM analysis of tubes) in Moscow *(by the way, do
you want to have your sample returned or is it part of a larger sample and
can it be deposited in Naturalis).* The taxon *rectiformis* anyhow should
be moved from *Serpula* to a different genus.

The original publication (1926)  in which Weissermerl (this seems to be his
correct name, though the oldest publication mentions Weisfermel, probably
the sf is a mistaken transliteration of a ringel s: ß) erected the genus
*Diplochaetetes*, was not available to us when we discussed the fossil rock
sent to us, we thus have not discussed whether the entire genus should be
moved from sclerosponges or just the taxon *mexicanus* (which already can
be found as *Polychaeta incertae sedis* in WoRMS, admittedly erroneously as
http://www.marinespecies.org/polychaeta/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=324451. We
thus have not discussed if *rectiformis* should be moved to *Diplochaetetes* or
not, or maybe *mexicanus* should as younger name be synonymized with
*rectiformis. *

In the meantime I (Harry) have received the original description which I
placed in Dropbox
* ,* don’t have the time to study this in detail, so cannot solve the
question above.

*Our  (Harry & Alexei) preliminary conclusion is as follows:* Fossil tubes
from California as sent to us belong to the polychaete family Cirratulida
(not Serpulidae!). The material (taxon) should be probably treated as
*Diplochaetetes *cf.* rectiformis *(Clark, 1918)*.* However, we still need
to check the taxonomic status of the generic name, we have not yet
assembled all relevant literature (there are a few more papers mentioning
*Diplochaetetes*), and some surprises can arise from this. We also plan to
make polished sections and SEM analysis to remove last doubts about the
cirratulid nature of the tubes.

To be continued (hopefully.......).


Harry, also on behalf of Alexei


T 071-5687657, M

Darwinweg 2 - 2333 CR Leiden
E Harry.tenHove from naturalis.nl I , www.naturalis.nl

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