IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

Read full entry

Description

 Thalassema thalassemum is an unsegmented, soft-bodied spoon worm. The main body, or trunk, is bilaterally symmetrical and reaches a length of up to 2-7 cm. The colour of the trunk varies between individuals and may be blue, grey, yellow, pink or purple. On the surface of the trunk are numerous papillae that are arranged in rings around the body, and which increase in number towards the posterior. Along the middle of the ventral surface of the body there is sometimes a single white line. The mouth is positioned at the base of the proboscis and behind this lies a pair of chaetae. The proboscis is coloured peach or cream, can extend up to 10-20 cm and may appear to have a ventral channel when its lateral margins roll inwards during feeding.Thalassema thalassemum is the smallest of the Echiurans. Its main body is capable of contracting to 2-3 cm. It is a deposit feeder, using its proboscis to secrete a mucus sheet that traps detritus. Thalassema thalassemum is gonochoristic, although there is no sexual dimorphism, and reproduces by external fertilization in the summer. A free-swimming planktonic larva stage develops from fertilized eggs before developing into the adult form. Thalassema thalassemum is mainly nocturnal.

Trusted

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

Belongs to 0 communities

This taxon hasn't been featured in any communities yet.

Learn more about Communities

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!