Overview

Comprehensive Description

External Appearance

The blunt, spatulate head shape is wider than the body width. Two large, wide stripes of reflective granules extend on the dorsal surface to the first pigment band continuing posteriorly as six to eight longitudinal stripes. This species has well-developed lateral sensory organs at the third pigment band and appears to have ocelli-like structures at the tip of the head. The ventral mouth interrupts the first pigment band.
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Look Alikes

Tubulanus rhabdotus is much larger than Tubulanus riceae but has a generally similar color pattern of pigmented rings.
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General Description

Off-white color with dark brown circular bands. Tips of the head and tail are both brown. Refractive granules in 6-8 longitudinal stripes on dorsal body surface.
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Distribution

Walton Rocks Beach, St. Lucie County, on South Hutchinson Island, south of Fort Pierce, Florida and also found from coral rubble at 3-5m depths at Carrie Bow Cay (Belize) and Bocas del Toro (Panama)
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Physical Description

Size

10-55mm long and 0.2-0.4 mm wide
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Diagnostic Description

Type Locality

Type locality: Phragmatopoma worm reef at Walton Rocks Beach, St. Lucie County, on South Hutchinson Island, south of Fort Pierce, Florida, N 27.339012, W 80.233059
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Type Information

Holotype for Tubulanus riceae Ritger & Norenburg, 2006
Catalog Number: USNM 1083007
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: Male;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Collector(s): R. Ritger et al.
Year Collected: 2003
Locality: South Hutchinson Island, Walton Rocks Beach, St. Lucie County, Florida, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
Microhabitat: Worm and Coquina Reef
  • Holotype: Ritger, R. & Norenburg, J. L. 2006. Tubulanus riceae new species (Nemertea: Anopla: Palaeonemertea: Tubulanidae), from South Florida, Belize and Panama. J. Nat. Hist. 40 (15-16): 931-942.
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Paratype for Tubulanus riceae Ritger & Norenburg, 2006
Catalog Number: USNM 1083008
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Collector(s): R. Ritger et al.
Year Collected: 2003
Locality: South Hutchinson Island, Walton Rocks Beach, St. Lucie County, Florida, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
Microhabitat: Worm and Coquina Reef
  • Paratype: Ritger, R. & Norenburg, J. L. 2006. Tubulanus riceae new species (Nemertea: Anopla: Palaeonemertea: Tubulanidae), from South Florida, Belize and Panama. J. Nat. Hist. 40 (15-16): 931-942.
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Ecology

Habitat

Intertidal worm and coquina reef rubble covered with mixed algal growth and coral rubble at 3-5m depths
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

As with several other Tubulanus species, Tubulanus riceae tends to contract the posterior region into a knot or spiral. When fragmenting occurs, the body wall cinches at the pigmented annuli and pinches off fragments. This species forms a cellophane-like tube.
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