Extracting polydorids

SRice1947 at aol.com SRice1947 at aol.com
Wed Jul 16 09:16:55 EST 1997

I have had very good luck using magnesium chloride to extract worms from
corals, shells, and other hard substrata. If you make up a solution of MgCl2
that is isotonic to the water you are holding the worms in and submerge the
material in the solution, the worms will relax and can be sucked out of their
burrows with a pipette. The more concentrated the MgCl, the faster the worms
will relax but the survival of extracted worms is better with slightly
hypotonic MgCl. Worms that relax quickly (like most spionids) can be removed
from their burrows and placed back into normal seawater with full recovery. 

Good luck!

Stanley A. Rice
University of Tampa
Tampa, FL
(813) 253-3333 Ext. 3340
Fax: (813) 258-7881
e-mail:  SRice1947 at aol.com

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