- Other Habitat Features
- intertidal or littoral
- Range length
- 53 to 350 mm
- 2.09 to 13.78 in
- Average length
- 100 mm
- 3.94 in
- Breeding interval
- The breeding interval is unknown.
- Breeding season
- The breeding season is unknown but may be related to lunar cycles.
Broadcast spawning assures that offspring will not compete with parents for space or resources, as the young are swept into the water column and carried away. However, this physical separation of parents and offspring also makes any sort of parental care impossible. Large amounts of sperm and eggs are released to compensate for the lack of parental investment. Even though the pelagic larvae are easy prey for many marine predators and do not benefit from any sort of protection, the great numbers ensure survival of some to adulthood. (Van Veghel, 1993)
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
Little is known about the lifespan or longevity of.
In laboratory observations, (Pardo and Amaral, 2006)displayed active feeding behaviors in the presence of food. However, when food was not present in the habitat, it hid in groups under rocks and remained still until food was presented again. Individuals competing for the same piece of food were observed pushing each other with their bodies. In the wild, remains hidden during the day to protect itself from dessication and predation. It burrows under rocks, into corals, or hides in any type of shelter, emerging at dusk to forage throughout the night and into the dawn. The parapodia of are well developed and it moves rapidly over the substrate as it actively seeks food.
No information was found for the home range.
Communication and Perception
- Primary Diet
- Plant Foods
- Other Foods
The bright red gill tufts of Conus imperialis has been observed feeding on . This is thought to be due to the presence of high levels of serotonin in the venom of C. imperialis. In leeches, serotonin is shown to increase the permeability of chloride ions in muscle tissue, causing relaxation of the muscle. It is reasonable to conclude that it would have similar effects in another annelid. Since the defense mechanism of the worm depends partly on being able to curl into a ball to expose poisonous barbs, a forced relaxation of body muscles would decrease the efficacy of the defense. This lowered defense makes easier prey for C. imperialis. In addition to its aposematism, the often brightly colored worm is camouflaged to blend in with the corals and sediments it inhabits. (McIntosh, et al., 1993)are a form of aposematism, warning potential predators of its neurotoxin-bearing bristles. Most marine predators avoid the painful poison of the worm. However,
- Known Predators
- Imperial cone snail, Conus imperialis
- Ecosystem Impact
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Due to its widespread distribution and regenerative capabilities, polychaete regeneration and to expand knowledge of the polychaete nervous system. The widespread distribution of this polychaete has also made it useful as an indicator species, and there have been many studies conducted regarding the concentrations of heavy metals and other pollutants in the worms. (Müller, et al., 2003)is a frequently studied organism. It has been used in the laboratory to establish a model of
- Positive Impacts
- research and education
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
- Negative Impacts
- injures humans
Perhaps due to its generalist food habits and widespread distribution, this animal is not currently of any special concern on any conservation list.
Molly Mascow (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Renee Mulcrone (editor), Special Projects.
- Atlantic Ocean
the body of water between Africa, Europe, the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), and the western hemisphere. It is the second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific Ocean.
having coloration that serves a protective function for the animal, usually used to refer to animals with colors that warn predators of their toxicity. For example: animals with bright red or yellow coloration are often toxic or distasteful.
reproduction that is not sexual; that is, reproduction that does not include recombining the genotypes of two parents
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
helps break down and decompose dead plants and/or animals
an animal that mainly eats meat
flesh of dead animals.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
active at dawn and dusk
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
an animal that mainly eats decomposed plants and/or animals
particles of organic material from dead and decomposing organisms. Detritus is the result of the activity of decomposers (organisms that decompose organic material).
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
- external fertilization
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- intertidal or littoral
the area of shoreline influenced mainly by the tides, between the highest and lowest reaches of the tide. An aquatic habitat.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
active during the night
- oceanic islands
islands that are not part of continental shelf areas, they are not, and have never been, connected to a continental land mass, most typically these are volcanic islands.
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
An aquatic biome consisting of the open ocean, far from land, does not include sea bottom (benthic zone).
an animal that mainly eats fish
an animal which has a substance capable of killing, injuring, or impairing other animals through its chemical action (for example, the skin of poison dart frogs).
structure produced by the calcium carbonate skeletons of coral polyps (Class Anthozoa). Coral reefs are found in warm, shallow oceans with low nutrient availability. They form the basis for rich communities of other invertebrates, plants, fish, and protists. The polyps live only on the reef surface. Because they depend on symbiotic photosynthetic algae, zooxanthellae, they cannot live where light does not penetrate.
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
an animal that mainly eats dead animals
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae. (Compare to phytoplankton.)
Barroso, R., M. Klautau, A. Solé-Cava, P. Paiva. 2010. Eurythoe complanata (Polychaeta: Amphinomidae), the ‘cosmopolitan’ worm, consists of at least three cryptic species. Marine Biology, 157/1: 69-80.
Barroso, R., P. Paiva. 2007. Amphinomidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from Rocas Atoll, Northeastern Brazil. Arquivos do Museu Nacional, 65/3: 357-362.
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Eckert, G. 1985. Absence of toxin-producing parapodial glands in amphinomid polychaetes (fireworms). Toxicon, 23/2: 350-353.
McIntosh, M., T. Foderaro, W. Li, C. Ireland, B. Olivera. 1993. Presence of serotonin in the venom of Conus imperialis. Toxicon, 31/12: 1561-1566.
Müller, M., A. Berenzen, W. Westheide. 2003. Experiments on anterior regeneration in Eurythoe complanata (“Polychaeta”, Amphinomidae): reconfiguration of the nervous system and its function for regeneration. Zoomorphology, 122: 95-103.
Orrhage, L., M. Müller. 2005. Morphology of the nervous system of Polychaeta (Annelida). Hydrobiologia, 535/536: 79-111.
Pardo, E., A. Amaral. 2006. Foraging and mobility in three species of Aciculata (Annelida: Polychaete). Brazilian Journal of Biology, 66/4: 1065-1072.
Purschke, G. 2005. Sense organs in polychaetes (Annelida). Hydrobiologia, 353/536/1: 53-78.
Reish, D., K. De Callibus, J. Dewar, C. Bube. 2009. Reproductive longevity in two species of polychaetous annelids. Zoosymposia, 2: 391-395.
Rouse, G. 2000. Polychaetes have evolved feeding larvae numerous times. Bulletin of Marine Science, 67/1: 391-409.
Shimek, R. 2010. "Polychaete Annelid Identification" (On-line). Accessed May 03, 2011 at http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-04/rs/index.php.
Suschenko, D., G. Purschke. 2009. Ultrastructure of pigmented adult eyes in errant polychaetes (Annelida): implications for annelid evolution. Hydrobiologia, 128: 75-96.
Van Veghel, M. 1993. Multiple species spawning on Curacao reefs. Bulletin of Marine Science, 52/3: 1017-1021.