Overview

Brief Summary

Thoracophelia are burrowing deposit feeders, generally found in the mid- to upper intertidal areas of sandy intertidals. Thoracophelia are characterized by having the body divided into three distinct body regions: (1) a head, (2) a swollen thoracic region, and (3) a longer narrower posterior region containing a ventral groove and branchiae. A lateral notopodial ridge or row of papillae separates the thoracic and posterior regions at the 10th chaetiger in all species (Blake, 2000; Santos et al., 2004).

Thoracophelia spp. can be distinguished by branchial structures, such as the three species found in North America: T. mucronata (Treadwell, 1914) is found along the west coast of North America and T. dillonensis (Hartman, 1938) and T. williamsi (Hartman, 1938) are found in central California (Law et al., 2013).

The genus Thoracophelia Ehlers, 1897, was recently revalidated by Blake (2011) and replaced genus Euzonus Grube 1866.

  • Blake JA. 2000. 7. Family Opheliidae Malmgren, 1867. In: Blake JA, Hilbig B, Scott PH, editors. Taxonomic atlas of the benthic fauna of the Santa Maria Basin and western Santa Barbara Channel, Vol. 7. The Annelida part 4, Polychaeta: Flabelligeridae to Sternaspidae. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. pp 145–168.
  • Blake JA. 2011. Revalidation of the genus Thoracophelia Ehlers, 1897, replacing Euzonus Grube, 1866 (Polychaeta: Opheliidae), junior homonym of Euzonus Menge, 1854 (Arthropoda: Diplopoda), together with a literature summary and updated listing of Thoracophelia species. Zootaxa 2807:65–68.
  • Law CJ, Dorgan KM, & Rouse GW. 2013. Validation of three sympatric Thoracophelia species (Annelida: Opheliidae) from Dillon Beach, California using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data. Zootaxa 3608:067–074.
  • Santos C, Nonato E. & Petersen M. 2004. Two new species of Opheliidae (Annelida, Polychaeta), Euzonus papillatus sp. n. from a northeastern Brazilian sandy beach and Euzonus mammillatus sp. n. from the continental shelf of south-eastern Brazil. Zootaxa 478:1–12.
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Physical Description

Morphology

 The body of Thoracophelia spp. is divided into three distinct body regions: 1) an anterior cephalic region consisting of the prostomium and first two setigers; (2) a swollen thoracic region; and (3) a long narrow posterior region characterized by a ventral groove and branchiae. A transverse groove/lateral notopodial ridge separates the thoracic and posterior region (Santos et al., 2004).

  • Blake, J. A. (2011) Revalidation of the genus Thoracophelia Ehlers, 1897, replacing Euzonus Grube, 1866 (Polychaeta: Opheliidae), junior homonym of Euzonus Menge, 1854 (Arthropoda: Diplopoda), together with a literature summary and updated listing of Thoracophelia species. Zootaxa, 2807, 65-69.
  • Santos, C. S. G., Nonato, E. F. & Petersen, M. E. (2004) Two new species of Opheliidae (Annelida: Polychaeta): Euzonus papillatus sp. n. from a northeastern Brazilian sandy beach and Euzonus mammillatus sp. n. from the continental shelf of south- eastern Brazil. Zootaxa, 478, 1-12.
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 10 specimens in 4 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 4008
  Temperature range (°C): 0.836 - 12.466
  Nitrate (umol/L): 3.089 - 32.948
  Salinity (PPS): 31.538 - 34.706
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.850 - 6.346
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.565 - 2.262
  Silicate (umol/l): 9.560 - 121.431

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 4008

Temperature range (°C): 0.836 - 12.466

Nitrate (umol/L): 3.089 - 32.948

Salinity (PPS): 31.538 - 34.706

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.850 - 6.346

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.565 - 2.262

Silicate (umol/l): 9.560 - 121.431
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Associations

Known predators

Thoracophelia is prey of:
Actinopterygii

Based on studies in:
USA: California (Coastal)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • J. W. Nybakken, Marine Biology: An Ecological Approach (Harper and Row, New York, 1982), from p. 242.
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Known prey organisms

Thoracophelia preys on:
detritus

Based on studies in:
USA: California (Coastal)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • J. W. Nybakken, Marine Biology: An Ecological Approach (Harper and Row, New York, 1982), from p. 242.
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Notes

The name Euzonus Grube has been replaced by Thoracophelia Ehlers

  • Blake, J. A. (2011) Revalidation of the genus Thoracophelia Ehlers, 1897, replacing Euzonus Grube, 1866 (Polychaeta: Opheliidae), junior homonym of Euzonus Menge, 1854 (Arthropoda: Diplopoda), together with a literature summary and updated listing of Thoracophelia species. Zootaxa, 2807, 65-69.
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