Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology/Natural History: Although this is an "errant" (motile) polychaete, it builds a parchmentlike tube which has adhering pebbles, usually under boulders. This species is omnivorous, and ventures outside its tube to eat algae as well as other animals.

Reproduction in the Washington area takes place during spring and summer. During reproduction, the rear portion of the body of a number of species of Eunice breaks off as an independent, gamete-bearing individual called an epitoke which swims through the water releasing the gametes, while the anterior portion of the worm remains on the bottom. However, in this species the adults do not become anatomically specialized during reproduction. Females release yellow eggs about 1/3 mm in diameter.

Eunicids are the only polychaetes eaten regularly by humans (the Palolo worm Eunice viridis in Samoa and Fiji). The palolo worm has an epitoke which swarms during the last quarter of the moon and the lowest tides during October and November. Islanders gather the swarming epitokes for food.

This family builds only fragile parchment tubes if any.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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As a member of Family Eunicidae (a large family), this species has few if any segments longer than wide, the notosetae do not extend nearly to the midline, the prostomium does not form an elongated caruncle which extends posteriorly over several segments, The head (prostomium) has a pair of stout, globular prostomial palps, which are not differentiated into two segmentlike units. The prostomium has 3 or 5 prostomial antennae but does not have a cluster of tentacles around the mouth. The proboscis cannot be everted. The pharynx has a pair of black ventral mandibles and 2 or more rows of black dorsal teeth, two of which are elongated and can be used as pincers. The peristomium usually has tentacular cirri. Eunicids are usually brightly colored. Eunice valens has 5 prostomial antennae which have only faint (not strongly indented) annular articulations (photo). A pair of dark dorsal eyes also is also found on the prostomium. A short, dorsal pair of tentacular cirri is found on the peristomium (photo). The first gills are on setiger 3, and are attached to the dorsal edge of the parapodium (neuropodium). Each segment has up to 16 gill filaments on each side. The filaments are short on anterior segments (photo) but are longer and overlap much of the dorsal part of the body farther back on the body (photo). It has small yellow hooded hooks ventral to the aciculae. The parapodia have neuropodia but no notopodia. The dorsal surface of the body is purplish red and may be iridescent, and often has white stripes or patches, especially the distinctive band behind the head. The ventral surface is lighter. Length up to about 20 cm.
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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Distribution

Geographical Range: Alaska to central California

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Physical Description

Look Alikes

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Eunice aphroditois has gills first appearing on setiger 5-7 and the hooks ventral to the aciculae are black. The prostomial antennae have well-indented annular rings. The Kobe bobbit worm, Eunice kobiensis, is very similar to E. valens but it is not known if E. kobiensis occurs in our area.
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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth Range: Low intertidal to 15 m

Habitat: Intertidal, usually in tubes under rocks.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Eunice valens

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank.   Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.  Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.

TTCATCTTTGGCACAGCCGGAGGCATAGCCGGAACCGCG---ATCAGAATACAAATCCGCCTAGCCCTGGCACAGCCCGGCTCACTTCTAGGCAGA---GACCAACTCTACAACACTCTAGTAACCGCTCACGCCTTTCTTATAATCTTTTTTTTAGTAATGCCAGTAATAATTGGAGGCTTCGGAAACTGATTACTCCCCCTAATA---CTGGGGGCCCCCGATATAGCCTTCCCCCGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTACCACCCGCCCTTGTTCTTCTTTTATCGTCTGCCGCCGTAGAAAAAGGAGCCGGAACAGGATGAACTGTATATCCCCCCCTATCAAGAAATATTGCCCACGCAGGTCCCTCCGTAGACTTA---GCAATTTTTTCTCTCCATTTAGCCGGTATCTCCTCAATCCTGGGATCAATCAACTTCATCACTACCGTATTCAACATACGATGAGATGGTCTCCGAGCTGAACGCATGCCCCTATTTGTATGGGGGGTAGTAATCACTACTGTCCTGCTACTTCTCTCCCTTCCAGTTCTAGCCGGC---GCCTTAACTATACTTCTAACCGATCGCAACCTAAATACCGCCTTTTTCGACCCCGCAGGCGGGGGGGACCCAGTACTATATCAACACCTTTTCTGATTTTTTGGCCATCCAGAAGTATATATCTTAATTTTACCCGGATTTGGGGCCATCTCCCACGTTGTAGCCCACCACTCCTCAAAACCA---GAATCATTCGGAACACTAGGAATAATCTATGCCATGCTAGGAATTGGCATCCTAGGGTTTATCGTGTGAGCCCACCACATATTTACAGTAGGTATAGACGTAGACACTCGAGCATATTTCTCCGCTGCAACCATAATTATTGCAGTACCAACCGGAATTAAAGTCTTCAGATGATTG---GCCACCATCTACGGCT
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eunice valens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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