Physical Description

Morphology

Prostomium with a narrow anterior and a wide posterior part (inverted T-shape) in most taxa; others with triangular or roughly diamond-shaped prostomia. Peristomium limited to lips. Paired frontal antennae present in almost all taxa. Palps ventral, tapering, articulated (but see Harper 1979: 95). Nuchal organs short ciliated grooves. Longitudinal muscles grouped in bundles; segmentation distinct. First segment indistinct with tentacular cirri only; four pairs of tentacular cirri present in most taxa; other taxa with two or three pairs. Both parapodial rami welldeveloped; notopodia shorter than neuropodia in most taxa. Dorsal and ventral cirri present. Gills and epidermal papillae absent. Paired pygidial cirri present. Lateral organs and dorsal cirrus organs not observed. Stomodaeum with axial, muscular eversible pharynx; terminal papillae absent; lateral jaws present. When everted outer surface of pharynx with either papillae or paragnaths or both in characteristic patterns in most taxa. Gular membrane absent; gut a straight tube. Metanephrida completely separated from ciliophagocytic organs; present in most segments. Circulatory system closed; heart body absent. Aciculae present. All chaetae compound; appendages joined to shafts by single ligaments. Appendages slender and tapering to fine tips, or bluntly falcate, sometimes dentate. (from Fauchald, K. & Rouse, G. W. (1997) Polychaete systematics: past and present. Zoologica Scripta, 26, 71-138.)

taxa with two or three pairs. Both parapodial rami welldeveloped;
notopodia shorter than neuropodia in most
taxa. Dorsal and ventral cirri present. Gills and epidermal
papillae absent. Paired pygidial cirri present. Lateral
organs and dorsal cirrus organs not observed. Stomodaeum
with axial, muscular eversible pharynx; terminal
papillae absent; lateral jaws present. When everted outer
surface of pharynx with either papillae or paragnaths or
both in characteristic patterns in most taxa. Gular
membrane absent; gut a straight tube. Metanephrida
completely separated from ciliophagocytic organs; present
in most segments. Circulatory system closed; heart body
absent. Aciculae present. All chaetae compound; appendages
joined to shafts by single ligaments (see below).
Appendages slender and tapering to fine tips, or bluntly
falcate, sometimes dentate.part (inverted T-shape) in most taxa; others with triangularor roughly diamond-shaped prostomia. Peristomiumlimited to lips. Paired frontal antennae present in almostall taxa. Palps ventral, tapering, articulated (but seeHarper 1979: 95). Nuchal organs short ciliated grooves.Longitudinal muscles grouped in bundles; segmentationdistinct. First segment indistinct with tentacular cirri only;four pairs of tentacular cirri present in most taxa; othertaxa with two or three pairs. Both parapodial rami welldeveloped;notopodia shorter than neuropodia in mosttaxa. Dorsal and ventral cirri present. Gills and epidermalpapillae absent. Paired pygidial cirri present. Lateralorgans and dorsal cirrus organs not observed. Stomodaeumwith axial, muscular eversible pharynx; terminalpapillae absent; lateral jaws present. When everted outersurface of pharynx with either papillae or paragnaths orboth in characteristic patterns in most taxa. Gularmembrane absent; gut a straight tube. Metanephridacompletely separated from ciliophagocytic organs; presentin most segments. Circulatory system closed; heart bodyabsent. Aciculae present. All chaetae compound; appendagesjoined to shafts by single ligaments (see below).Appendages slender and tapering to fine tips, or bluntlyfalcate, sometimes dentate.
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Diagnostic Description

Notopodia distinct (rarely
reduced), usually with one or more flattened lobes,
notochaetae compound falcigers and/or spinigers (rarely
notochaetae absent) (Glasby 1993: 1558). Another characteristic
feature of the nereidid is the inverted T-shaped
prostomium; this is present in most taxa, small-bodied
species tend to have diamond-shaped prostomia with
rounded corners.

Notopodia distinct (rarelyreduced), usually with one or more flattened lobes,notochaetae compound falcigers and/or spinigers (rarelynotochaetae absent) (Glasby 1993: 1558). Another characteristicfeature of the nereidid is the inverted T-shapedprostomium; this is present in most taxa, small-bodiedspecies tend to have diamond-shaped prostomia withrounded corners. (from Fauchald, K. & Rouse, G. W. (1997) Polychaete systematics: past and present. Zoologica Scripta, 26, 71-138.)

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Ecology

Associations

Known predators

Nereidae (Predatory polychaetes and nemertines) is prey of:
Pleuronectiformes
Tadorna
Tringa
Calidris
Calidris alpina
Haematopus
Dasyatis sabina
Arius felis
Anchoa mitchilli
Menidia beryllina
Lagodon rhomboides
Leiostomus xanthurus
Syngnathus scovelli
Hippocampus zosterae
Sciaenops ocellatus
Bucephala albeaola
Rallus longirostris
Charadrius semipalmatus
sediment POC
Pinixia floridana
Neopanope texana
Processa bermudiensis
Penaeus duoarum
Palaemonetes floridanus

Based on studies in:
Scotland, Ythan estuary (Littoral, Mudflat)
USA: Florida (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • H. Milne and G. M. Dunnet, Standing crop, productivity and trophic relations of the fauna of the Ythan estuary. In: The Estuarine Environment, R. S. K. Barnes and J. Green, Eds. (Applied Science Publications, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1972), pp. 86-106, from
  • Christian RR, Luczkovich JJ (1999) Organizing and understanding a winter’s seagrass foodweb network through effective trophic levels. Ecol Model 117:99–124
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Known prey organisms

  • H. Milne and G. M. Dunnet, Standing crop, productivity and trophic relations of the fauna of the Ythan estuary. In: The Estuarine Environment, R. S. K. Barnes and J. Green, Eds. (Applied Science Publications, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1972), pp. 86-106, from
  • Christian RR, Luczkovich JJ (1999) Organizing and understanding a winter’s seagrass foodweb network through effective trophic levels. Ecol Model 117:99–124
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 1297
Specimens with Sequences: 1141
Specimens with Barcodes: 893
Species: 91
Species With Barcodes: 79
Public Records: 517
Public Species: 38
Public BINs: 68
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Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 2
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nereididae sp. MC

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data

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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at Moscow State Univ
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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at British Antarctic Survey
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Wikipedia

Nereididae

Nereididae (formerly spelled Nereidae) are a family of polychaete worms. It contains about 500 – mostly marine – species grouped into 42 genera. They may be commonly called Ragworms or Clam worms.

Characteristics[edit]

The prostomium of Nereididae bears a pair of palps that are differentiated into two units, the proximal unit is much larger than the distal unit. Parapodia are mostly biramous (only the first two pairs are uniramous). Peristomium fused with the first body segment, with usually two pairs of tentacular cirri. The first body segment with 1-2 pairs tentacular cirri without aciculae. Compound setae present. Notopodia are distinct (rarely reduced), usually with more flattened lobes, notosetae compound falcigers and/or spinigers (rarely notosetae absent). They have two prostomial antennae (absent in Micronereis). Their pharynx, when everted, clearly consists of two portions, with a pair of strong jaws on the distal portion and usually with conical teeth on one or more areas of both portions. Most genera have no gills (if present, they are usually branched and arise on mid-anterior segments of body). The larval body consists of four segments.

Jaw material[edit]

Ragworms' teeth are made of a very tough, yet lightweight material. Unlike bone and tooth enamel, this is not mineralised with calcium, but is formed by a histidine rich protein, with bound zinc ions.[1] Research on this material could lead to applications in engineering.[2]

Systematics[edit]

Nereidae are currently considered a monophyletic taxon. Their closest neighbours in polychaete phylogenetic tree are Chrysopetalidae and Hesionidae (the superfamily Nereidoidea).

Nereidae are divided into 42 genera, but the relationships between them are as yet unclear. The family contains traditionally three subfamilies - Namanereidinae, Gymnonereinae and Nereidinae.

Ecology[edit]

Ragworms are predominantly marine organisms that may occasionally swim upstream to rivers and even climb to land (for example Lycastopsis catarractarum). They are commonly found in all water depths, foraging in seaweeds, hiding under rocks or burrowing in sand or mud. Ragworms are mainly omnivorous but many are active carnivores. Nereids only breed once before dying (semelparity) and most of them morph into a distinct form to breed (epitoky).

Ragworms are important food sources for a number of shore birds[3]

Human use[edit]

Ragworms such as Hediste diversicolor are commonly used as bait in sea angling.[4] They are a popular bait for all types of wrasse and pollock. They are also used as fish feed in aquaculture.[5]

Ragworms are considered a delicacy in Vietnam.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Broomell et al. (2008) Cutting Edge Structural Protein from the Jaws of Nereis virens Biomacromolecules, 9 (6), pp 1669–1677.
  2. ^ Marine Worm's Jaws Say 'Cutting-Edge New Aerospace Materials' Science Daily
  3. ^ Animal Fact files: Ragworm (Nereis diversicolor) BBC Science & Nature
  4. ^ Budd, Georgina (2008). "Ragworm: Hediste diversicolor". Marine Life Information Network. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  5. ^ Merrit, Mike (13 January 2013) Sea-change as farm grows fish on land The Scotsman, Retrieved 22 January 2013
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