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[Annelida] Florida Keys Eunice fucata

Geoff Read via annelida%40net.bio.net (by Geoffrey.Read from niwa.co.nz)
Sun Oct 26 20:32:25 EST 2014

Hi all,

I'm intrigued by tarpon fishers reports from the Florida Keys that the appearance of a run of these fish relate to feeding on what they call a 'palolo hatch'.  Oddly, it's quite obvious that what they're watching and reporting are just heteronereid Nereididae going about their business in the early evening.  An example here: http://www.saltwaterflyfishing.com.au/board/threads/palolo-worm-florida-keys.7089/   and video (nice sound track) here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkOT1mP3Q9k    However there seems to be a firm belief locally that these are Palolo worms.

In fact genuine 'Atlantic' Palolo swarming of Eunice fucata seems to be practically unknown outside of the Tortugas Keys well to the west.  However, despite the fishers' misconception about the nereids they see, Eunice fucata Palolo swarming is likely going on in the Florida Keys and adjacent island chains, but in the early hours of the morning.  Can anyone point to a reliable modern report or know of a video of it?

The original E. fucata swarming work was done by Mayer, and by Clark & Hess at a marine lab on Leatherhead Key, Tortugas, but apparently that closed down long ago.


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