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Image of <i>Swima bombiviridis</i> Osborn, Haddock, Pleijel, Madin & Rouse 2009
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Swima bombiviridis Osborn, Haddock, Pleijel, Madin & Rouse 2009

Comprehensive Description

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Swima bombiviridis is the type species of the genus Swima, which was only described in 2009. Swima bombiviridis and its close relatives are pelagic marine polychaete worms spending most or all of their life living in the deep sea at depths greater than 1800 meters. Some, like S. bombiviridis, live well above the bottom and presumably never land and are exceptional swimmers, hence the generic name. The common name for this species is the ‘green bomber’ owing to a series of green spheres attached just behind the head that are easily shed by the animal when it is disturbed. These are also the basis for the specific epithet, bombiviridis, which is Latin for green bombs. Once detached, the bombs will glow with green light for up to a minute. Swima bombiviridis belongs to the polychaete family Acrocirridae. Nearly all other acrocirrids are benthic, living in sediments or under rocks from shallow water down to the deep sea. An evolutionary analysis of acrocirrids has shown that Swima bombiviridis and its pelagic relatives evolved from benthic acrocirrid ancestors and share many morphological features with other acrocirrids, although some features appear to have evolved to suit their pelagic lifestyle. Like its benthic relatives, Swima bombiviridis has a pair of grooved palps that it presumably uses for feeding. However, while other acrocirrids usually have four pairs of elongate branchiae (gills) behind the head that are easily detachable, in S. bombiviridis and some of its other pelagic relatives these gills appear to have been evolutionarily transformed to become detachable bioluminescent orbs, the ‘bombs’. These may well not function as branchiae any more and instead these animals have evolved new structures that appear to be branchiae. Swima and its swimming relatives also have elongate paddle-like chitinous chaetae in bundles along their bodies that are quite different from those of their benthic relatives and are almost certainly for use in swimming. (Osborn et al. 2009; Osborn et al. 2011; Osborn and Rouse 2011)

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Swima bombiviridis

provided by wikipedia EN

Swima bombiviridis is a worm species that lives in the deep ocean.[2] It is also known as the green bomber worm or bombardier worm. This deep ocean pelagic (free-swimming) annelid has modified bioluminescent gills that can be cast off from an individual. These discarded gills somewhat resemble green "bombs" that remain illuminated for several seconds after they have been discarded. It is thought that this is a defensive mechanism rather than reproductive, as it is seen in both mature and juvenile individuals.[3] This species was the first of its genus, Swima, to be discovered, and was the only one with a formal scientific name as of 2010.[4] The genus name, Swima, is derived from the Latin, referring to the animal's ability to swim. The species name, bombiviridis, is derived from the Latin prefix bombus, meaning humming or buzzing (from which the English word bomb is derived), and the suffix viridis, which is Latin for the color green. Swima bombiviridis therefore translates to "swimming green bomber".[3]

Description

S. bombiviridis belongs to a clade that is morphologically distinct from other swimming acrocirrids by their transparent bodies, and single medial subulate branchiae.[5] The acrocirridae are closely related to the flabelligeridae, a sister groups of worms[6][7] While species of Swima live in the ocean sediment, others remain suspended up to 444 meters above the sea floor.[8] S. Bombiviridis is further characterized by a gelatinous sheath and elliptical branchiae that it uses to drop 1mm long bioluminescent ‘bombs’ that luminesce for several seconds.[5][8] They can grow over 30mm in length and 5 mm in width, making them relatively large in comparison to other worms of the acrocirrid family. They are also distinguished from other members of the acrocirridae, which consist of 8 genera of tiny, benthic worms that are immobile.[5]

Distribution and habitat

S. bombiviridis resides at depths up to 3600 meters and was first recorded off the coast of Monterey Bay, California.[9] Since then, they have only been found between 1–450 meters above the sea floor.[8] They are holopelagic, which means they remain pelagic throughout their entire life cycle, existing exclusively in the water column.[5]

The worms are not uncommon; they travel in groups by the hundreds, however, the remoteness of their habitat renders them incredibly challenging to investigate. Greg Rouse notes that each of the seven species in its clade exhibits various intricate head appendages. These appendages contain “bombs”, spheres that burst into light when released. The bombs evolved from gills, since they are in the same location as the gills, which can fall off easily. It remains unclear why this adaptation may have occurred. The implications of this evolutionary benefit may provide insight about how the environment of the S. bombiviridis, shapes the nature of its anatomical features.[9]

Morphology

S. bombiviridis are mobile deep sea acrocirrid worms that have 30 bristles made of chitin, or chaetae on each parapodium. They use these bristles to propel through the water by lateral undulation in combination with a power stroke and a recovery stroke.[8][9]

S. bombiviridis only releases a few bioluminescent bombs at once upon mechanical stimulation along its length. Microscopy of the ‘bombs’ reveals that they contain hemolymph filled sacs separated by central chambers. These most likely evolved from homologous branchiae.[8] Although it has not been confirmed, S. bombiviridis employs this ability as a mechanism of distraction, parallel to squid that release bioluminescent liquid to escape their predators.[10] This is to be expected based on the many polychaetes that use bioluminescence for evasion. Furthermore, the bombs are unlikely to be used for reproduction due to the nature of this release, and due to the fact that these appendages are observed in both juvenile and adult forms.[8]

Discovery

Discovered in 2009 by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego,[9] S bombiviridis was first mentioned in the August issue of the journal Science pioneered by Karen Osborn. Osborn and her team introduced this organism alongside seven new species of worm, forming a new clade of marine worms within acrocirridae. This includes the Tawi-Tawi bomber, the Shining bomber, the Horned bomber, the Tiburon Bomber, the Squidworm, and the Juanita worm, which are all swimming organisms.[7]

References

  1. ^ Osborn KJ, Haddock SHD, Pleijel F, Madin LP, Rouse GW (2009). "Deep-sea, swimming worms with luminescent "bombs"". Science. 325 (5943): 964. doi:10.1126/science.1172488. PMID 19696343.
  2. ^ Moskowitz, Clara (20 August 2009). "Sea Creature Releases Glowing Decoy 'Bombs'". LiveScience. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  3. ^ a b International Institute for Species Exploration (2010). "Bombardier Worm". Top 10 New Species – 2010. Tempe, Arizona: Arizona State University. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28.
  4. ^ Osborn KJ, Rouse GW (2010). "Phylogenetics of Acrocirridae and Flabelligeridae" (PDF). Zoologica Scripta. 40 (2): 204–219. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00460.x.
  5. ^ a b c d Rouse, Greg W.; Haddock, Steven H. D.; Osborn, Karen J. (2011-11-01). "Swima (Annelida, Acrocirridae), holopelagic worms from the deep Pacific". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 163 (3): 663–678. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2011.00727.x. ISSN 0024-4082.
  6. ^ Rouse, G. W.; Fauchald, K. (1997). "Cladistics and polychaetes". Zoologica Scripta. 26 (2): 139–204. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.1997.tb00412.x. ISSN 1463-6409.
  7. ^ a b Osborn, Karen J.; Rouse, Greg W. (2010). "Phylogenetics of Acrocirridae and Flabelligeridae (Cirratuliformia, Annelida)" (PDF). Zoologica Scripta. 40 (2): 204–219. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00460.x. ISSN 1463-6409.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Rouse, Greg W.; Madin, Laurence P.; Pleijel, Fredrik; Haddock, Steven H. D.; Osborn, Karen J. (2009-08-21). "Deep-Sea, Swimming Worms with Luminescent "Bombs"". Science. 325 (5943): 964. doi:10.1126/science.1172488. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 19696343.
  9. ^ a b c d "Scientists Discover Bioluminescent 'Green Bombers' from the Deep Sea". Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  10. ^ Cohen, Julia (April 10, 2016). "Shedding a Light on Bioluminescence". Dawson Environmental Science.
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Swima bombiviridis: Brief Summary

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Swima bombiviridis is a worm species that lives in the deep ocean. It is also known as the green bomber worm or bombardier worm. This deep ocean pelagic (free-swimming) annelid has modified bioluminescent gills that can be cast off from an individual. These discarded gills somewhat resemble green "bombs" that remain illuminated for several seconds after they have been discarded. It is thought that this is a defensive mechanism rather than reproductive, as it is seen in both mature and juvenile individuals. This species was the first of its genus, Swima, to be discovered, and was the only one with a formal scientific name as of 2010. The genus name, Swima, is derived from the Latin, referring to the animal's ability to swim. The species name, bombiviridis, is derived from the Latin prefix bombus, meaning humming or buzzing (from which the English word bomb is derived), and the suffix viridis, which is Latin for the color green. Swima bombiviridis therefore translates to "swimming green bomber".

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Diagnosis

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Swima with transparent gut. Possessing a thick, transparent gelatinous sheath penetrated throughout by narrow clavate papillae, simple noto- and neurochaetae, and three achaetous anterior segments supporting ellipsoid, bioluminescent, derived branchiae that are less than 1.5 mm in length.
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bibliographic citation
Osborn, K.J.; Haddock, S.H.D.; Pleijel, F.; Madin, L.P.; Rouse, G.W. (2009). Deep-sea, swimming worms with luminescent "bombs". <em>Science (Wash.).</em> 325(5943): 964 and online supplement. Osborn, K. J., Haddock, S. H. D., and Rouse, G. W. 2011. Swima (Annelida, Acrocirridae), holopelagic worms from the deep Pacific. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 163(3): 663-678.
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Fauchald, Kristian [email]