Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Females with ripe eggs have been observed in spring and summer. The planktonic larvae occur in waters with a salinity down to 13%.
O. limacina is a typical non-selective deposit feeder. The lack of food specialisation of adults contrasts sharply with the selectivity of juveniles for certain types of substrate. The species is food for demersal fish (Hartmann-Schröder, 1971; Wolff, 1973; Curtis, 1977; Kirkegaard, 1978; Fauchald & Jumars, 1979).
  • Holtmann, S.E.; Groenewold, A.; Schrader, K.H.M.; Asjes, J.; Craeymeersch, J.A.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; van Bostelen, A.J.; van der Meer, J. (1996). Atlas of the zoobenthos of the Dutch continental shelf. Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management: Rijswijk, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-369-4301-9. 243 pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Distribution

Ophelia limacina is found on almost the entire Belgian part of the North Sea with a high frequency of occurrence. The distribution of the species is only (very) limited in the coastal zone (1976-1986 period) or in the eastern coastal zone (1994-2001 period). The maximum density of O. limacina is > 600 ind./m2 in the 1976-1986 period whereas this amount fell to a maximum of about 150 ind./m2 in the 1994-2001 period.
  • Degraer S., J. Wittoeck, W. Appeltans, K. Cooreman, T. Deprez, H. Hillewaert, K. Hostens, J. Mees, E. Vanden Berghe & M. Vincx (2006). The macrobenthos atlas of the Belgian part of the North Sea. Belgian Science Policy. D/2005/1191/3. ISBN 90-810081-6-1. 164 pp.
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O. limacina is found in the Southern Bight, its distribution extending into the marine and central part of the Westerschelde. The polychaete also occurs north of the Wadden islands, at the Cleaver Bank and more offshore at the Dogger Bank, but is absent from the Oyster Ground.
  • Holtmann, S.E.; Groenewold, A.; Schrader, K.H.M.; Asjes, J.; Craeymeersch, J.A.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; van Bostelen, A.J.; van der Meer, J. (1996). Atlas of the zoobenthos of the Dutch continental shelf. Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management: Rijswijk, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-369-4301-9. 243 pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Saguenay Fjord, northern Gaspe waters, southern Gaspe waters (Baie des Chaleurs, Gaspe Bay to American, Orphan and Bradelle banks; eastern boundary: Eastern Bradelle Valley), downstream part of middle St. Lawrence estuary, lower St. Lawrence estuary, Prince Edward Island (from the northern tip of Miscou Island, N.B. to Cape Breton Island south of Cheticamp, including the Northumberland Strait and Georges Bay to the Canso Strait causeway); Lower North Shore
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Bristle worm with a short, thick fusiform body up to 55 mm long. The anterior end is cylindrical; the posterior end is characterised by a ventral groove. The head is a simple smooth cone without appendages, but does have groups of little bristles. The parapodia are in general reduced and bear finger-like gills on the hind part of the body.
  • Degraer S., J. Wittoeck, W. Appeltans, K. Cooreman, T. Deprez, H. Hillewaert, K. Hostens, J. Mees, E. Vanden Berghe & M. Vincx (2006). The macrobenthos atlas of the Belgian part of the North Sea. Belgian Science Policy. D/2005/1191/3. ISBN 90-810081-6-1. 164 pp.
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Morphology

Body short, thick and spindle-shaped. Body maximally 50 mm in length and divided into 40 segments. The front part is cylindrical, while the hind part of the body has a ventral groove. The head is pointed, without appendages. Parapodia are inconspicuous and bear finger-like gills on the posterior part of the body. O. limacina is pink to flesh-coloured (Hartmann-Schröder, 1971).
  • Holtmann, S.E.; Groenewold, A.; Schrader, K.H.M.; Asjes, J.; Craeymeersch, J.A.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; van Bostelen, A.J.; van der Meer, J. (1996). Atlas of the zoobenthos of the Dutch continental shelf. Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management: Rijswijk, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-369-4301-9. 243 pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Ophelia limacina has a clear preference for coarse sediments: a high relative occurrence (> 40%) is reached in sediments with a median grain size of 300 to 550 µm. However, the species is absent in very coarse sediments (> 600 µm). Ophelia limacina tends to prefer sediments with low mud contents (optimum: 0 to 10%). The species does not occur in sediments with a mud content exceeding 20%.
  • Degraer S., J. Wittoeck, W. Appeltans, K. Cooreman, T. Deprez, H. Hillewaert, K. Hostens, J. Mees, E. Vanden Berghe & M. Vincx (2006). The macrobenthos atlas of the Belgian part of the North Sea. Belgian Science Policy. D/2005/1191/3. ISBN 90-810081-6-1. 164 pp.
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The species prefers medium to coarse sands mixed with gravel or shell fragments. Muddy sediments seem to be avoided.
  • Holtmann, S.E.; Groenewold, A.; Schrader, K.H.M.; Asjes, J.; Craeymeersch, J.A.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; van Bostelen, A.J.; van der Meer, J. (1996). Atlas of the zoobenthos of the Dutch continental shelf. Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management: Rijswijk, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-369-4301-9. 243 pp.
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bathyal, infralittoral and circalittoral of the Gulf and estuary
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Depth range based on 542 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 309 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 275
  Temperature range (°C): -0.626 - 12.552
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.660 - 16.868
  Salinity (PPS): 27.165 - 35.211
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.364 - 8.208
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 1.517
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.091 - 25.860

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 275

Temperature range (°C): -0.626 - 12.552

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.660 - 16.868

Salinity (PPS): 27.165 - 35.211

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.364 - 8.208

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 1.517

Silicate (umol/l): 2.091 - 25.860
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ophelia limacina

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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