Overview

Brief Summary

The family Syllidae Grube, 1850, comprises errant polychaetes of relatively small sizes, usually a few milimeters in length, but some of the largest representatives were reported as reaching lengths of up to 13 cm, with hundreds of segments (e.g. Trypanosyllis ingens).

Syllids may inhabit virtually all environments in the oceans, from the deep sea to the intertidal zones. Usually benthic organisms, most of them "switch" to a planktonic form, the epitoke, as part of reproductive cycles. For some species, epitokous forms are known to display strong bioluminescence, as is the case of the "Bermudan fireworm" Odontosyllis enopla.

Syllids posses a well-formed head, usually with 1 pair of triangular to kidney-shaped palps, 3 antennae and 2 pairs of eyes; the peristomium, where the mouth opening lies, possesses 1-2 pairs of peristomial cirri; the parapodia are usually uniramous, with dorsal and ventral cirri, and the bundle of chaetae, although a biramous condition is developed during the epitokous phase.

One of the easiest way to recognize a syllid is the presence of the proventricle, a muscular barrel-shaped structure associated with the pharynx, usually visible by the translucent body wall. Taxonomy of the group is based mainly on the dentition patterns of the pharynx, and on the morphology of the proventricle, chaetae and antennae and cirri throughout.

  • Aguado, M.T., San Martín, G. & Siddall, M.E. (2011) Systematics and evolution of syllids (Annelida, Syllidae). Cladistics, 27 (2011), 1–17. doi: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2011.00377.x
  • San Martín, G. (2003) Annelida Polychaeta II: Syllidae. In: Ramos M.A. et al. (Eds.), Fauna Ibérica, vol. 21. Museo Nacional de Ciéncias Naturales, CSIC, Madrid, Spain, 544 pp.
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Ecology

Associations

Known predators

  • 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

Syllidae (Deposit-feeding polychaetes) preys on:
algae
bacteria
Microfauna
meiofauna

Based on studies in:
USA: Florida (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • 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: 522
Specimens with Sequences: 424
Specimens with Barcodes: 397
Species: 155
Species With Barcodes: 144
Public Records: 294
Public Species: 132
Public BINs: 144
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Barcode data

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Genomic DNA is available from 727 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Moscow State Univ and Museum of Tropical Queensland and Ocean Genome Legacy and Queensland Museum
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