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BiologyThe sexes are separate and individuals breed several times over a number of years. Generally, the females breed once each year, beginning in their second year. Breeding takes place between April and June and the larvae are planktonic.
N. hombergii is potentially a long-lived species, viz. up to 5 years, as determined from the annual rings in its jaws.
N. hombergii is a burrowing predator of juvenile molluscs, crustaceans and other polychaetes. lt also feeds on carrion, diatoms and detritus. Studies in the Wadden Sea have shown this species to be sensitive to low winter temperatures. After cold winters the reduced population showed an increase in production (Clark, 1962; Hartmann-Schröder, 1971; Wolff, 1973; Kirkegaard, 1978; Beukema, 1979; Fauchald & Jumars, 1979; Beukema & Essink, 1986; Sips, 1988; Fish & Fish, 1989; Mathivat-lailier & Cazaux, 1991; Olive & Morgan, 1991; Rainer, 1991).