Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Protula tubularia forms a white, calcareous tube lacking distinct growth rings in which it lives. It has a small, elongated, segmented body that tapers towards the posterior and grows to 0.3-0.5 cm in length. The body is divided into a head, a short, green, anterior region of eight segments and a much longer reddish-orange, posterior region of up to 90-120 segments. The head is reduced and has two gill lobes each bearing 20-45 white or pinkish, slightly spiralled tentacles that are pinnate in two rows and marked with paired red blotches and numerous eyespots. The head is surrounded by a collar that bears finely toothed chaetae and extends dorsally to a distinctive, large, lobed membrane either side of the thorax. Chaetae are present on all segments except the first. Chaetae in the thoracic region are pale golden, long and slender and display narrow wings. Those in the posterior region are longer but lack narrow wings. 

Protula tubularia lack the distinctive stalked operculum that is characteristic of Serpula vermicularis.Protula tubularia is often solitary and reproduces throughout June, August and September.

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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Distribution

Nova Scotia to Carolinas
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

benthic species found over muddy and gravelly bottoms, usually attached to Placopecten.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Depth range based on 24 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 8 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 969
  Temperature range (°C): -0.232 - 23.720
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 13.329
  Salinity (PPS): 34.243 - 38.993
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.747 - 6.898
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.094 - 0.916
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 8.188

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1 - 969

Temperature range (°C): -0.232 - 23.720

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 13.329

Salinity (PPS): 34.243 - 38.993

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.747 - 6.898

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.094 - 0.916

Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 8.188
 
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 Protula tubularia forms white, calcareous tubes on hard substratum such as stones and rocks in the lower shore and sublittoral zones to depths of 100 m.
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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Associations

Animal / parasite
young of Drilonereis parasitises Protula tubularia

Animal / parasite / ectoparasite
tentacle of adult of Lichomolgus protulae ectoparasitises Protula tubularia

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / parasite / endoparasite
Selenidium caulleryi endoparasitises gut of Protula tubularia

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