- Habitat Regions
- saltwater or marine
- Range depth
- 1000 (high) m
- 3280.84 (high) ft
Lamellibranchia luymesi are large, sedentary worms of the phylum Annelida that live within a secreted tube. Their plumes are deep red and their wavy or curling tubes are off-white in color. Mature seep worms have a thin, tapered body plan. They have no mouth or gut because they rely on chemosynthetic bacterial endosymbionts for nutrition. The plume of can reach as high as 1.5 m above the seafloor and it has a growth rate of 1 cm per year. Lamellibranchia luymesi is the more abundant species of Gulf of Mexico cold seep tubeworm communities. (Freytag, 2003)
- Range length
- 2.0 (high) m
- 6.56 (high) ft
Larval tubeworms must settle on a hard substrate, usually carbonate rock, in areas of active seepage from the vents in order to ensure their growth. Unlike hydrothermal vent worms, these cold seep worms grow from both their posterior and anterior ends and inhabit the entire length of their tubes. They can extend the posterior ends of their bodies and tubes up to 0.5 m into the sediment, below their original point of attachment. Research experiments have shown that (Freytag, 2003)acquires sulfide from the environment using this extension of its posterior end, known as the “root”. When settling, the worms form bush-like aggregations of 500 to 2000 individuals that can cover areas as large as 1600 square meters. grows slowly to lengths over 2 m above the seafloor, and can live from 170 to 250 years.
Little information is known about the mating systems of. Due to the habitat of , it is very hard to study them. No courtship behaviors have been observed.
The colonies ofthat have been studied have been determined to consist of separate sexes, male and female.
In females, the mature oocytes can range from 75-105 μm in diameter. The female reproductive system ofopens at the anterior end of the trunk. The gonads are located in the anterior two-thirds of the trunk. Extended through the trunk are a pair of oviducts. Terminal portions of each oviduct are enlarged as an egg storage compartment known as the ovisac. The spermatheca, where sperm is stored for fertilization, is located at the far posterior end.
After males have matured, sperm stay in large bundles attached to cytophores, within the sperm ducts. Sperm have a twisted head formed by an acrosome that is followed by a tapering helical nucleus surrounded by a long mitochondrial helix, a short centriolar region, and a long flagellum. (Hilario, et al., 2005; Marotta, et al., 2005; Southward, 1999)
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- broadcast (group) spawning
Embryos are apparently released with no additional investment from the parents.
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
The deep sea tube worms of (Bergquist, et al., 2000)are one the longest-lived of all animals. Members of this species require between 170 and 250 years to grow to a length of two meters. This remarkable life span is especially noteworthy because the rate of growth is so slow compared to that of its vent relatives, which are among the fastest growing invertebrates. This also makes the most long-lived non-colonial marine invertebrate known. Individuals of do not grow at their maximal rates throughout their lives, but rather growth occurs episodically.
Vestimentiferans form dense aggregations of both sexes at both hydrothermal and cold seep sites with worms at all stages of life. No other social organization is apparent. There is little known information on the behavior of.
Communication and Perception
There is little known about the communication and perceptions methods of.
Studies have shown that Gammaproteobacteria, which live inside the bacteriocytes (specialized cells) of the trophosome (a new organ produced by the host to house and protect its microbial partner) in . In return, these endosymbionts provide nutrition to through the products of their respiratory processes. (Cordes, 2004; Freytag, 2001; Freytag, 2003; Pflugfelder, 2006)take up sulfide from the environment by using extensions of their tubes which penetrate the sea floor sediment. They provide this sulfide to the chemoautotrophic bacterial endosymbionts belonging to the
The file clam, Acesta bullisi, preys on the eggs of . Little is know about the relationship between the two species. Data strongly suggests that A. bullisi lives permanently attached around the anterior tube opening of the , preying on the eggs released by them. (Jarnegren, et al., 2005)
- Known Predators
- Acesta bullisi also known as the file clam
Oxygen transport proteins of deep-sea animals are sensitive to pH changes, so Brachiopoda, Mollusca, Porifera, Arthropoda, and Chordata. (Cordes, 2004; Horstman, 2003; Pflugfelder, 2006; Seibel and Walsh, 2003)and its endosymbionts have an impact on these organisms and their ecosystem. Through their feeding and respiration processes, they stabilize carbon dioxide levels, in turn keeping pH levels stable. Hydrogen sulfide levels are also kept at a minimum by , which even in small amounts can be deadly to living organisms. This allows for a larger community of organisms to live in an otherwise barren habitat. This includes a variety of organisms from the phylums
- Ecosystem Impact
- creates habitat
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
There are no known positive effects ofon humans.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
This species is not protected by any treaty or regulation. Very little is known about that status of its populations.
Alexia Barlikas (author), Rutgers University, Asa Dewan (author), Rutgers University, Mofolusho Sodeke (author), Rutgers University, David V. Howe (editor), Rutgers University.
- 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.
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
- 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.
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
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.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
- oceanic vent
Areas of the deep sea floor where continental plates are being pushed apart. Oceanic vents are places where hot sulfur-rich water is released from the ocean floor. An aquatic biome.
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
remains in the same area
non-motile; permanently attached at the base.
Attached to substratum and moving little or not at all. Synapomorphy of the Anthozoa
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
mature spermatozoa are stored by females following copulation. Male sperm storage also occurs, as sperm are retained in the male epididymes (in mammals) for a period that can, in some cases, extend over several weeks or more, but here we use the term to refer only to sperm storage by females.
Bergquist, D., F. Williams, C. Fisher. 2000. Longevity record for deep-sea invertebrate. Nature, 403: 499-500.
Cordes, E. 2004. "The ecology of seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico: Biodiversity and role of Lamellibrachia luymesi" (On-line). Accessed December 02, 2010 at http://etda.libraries.psu.edu/theses/approved/WorldWideFiles/ETD-713/cordes_thesis.pdf.
Freytag, J. 2001. A paradox resolved: Sulfide acquisition by roots of seep tubeworms sustains net chemoautotrophy. PNAS, 98: 13408-13413.
Freytag, J. 2003. "Ecological physiology and biochemistry of sulfide acquisition by two hydrocarbon seep vestimentiferans, Lamellibrachia luymesi and Seepiophila jonesi" (On-line). Accessed December 02, 2010 at http://etda.libraries.psu.edu/theses/approved/WorldWideFiles/ETD-412/Thesis.pdf.
Gardiner, S., S. Hourdez. 2003. On the occurrence of the vestimentiferan tube worm Lamellibrachia luymesi van de Land and Norrevang, 1975 (Annelida: Pogonophora) in hydrocarbon seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Society of Washington, 116: 380-394. Accessed December 09, 2006 at http://apt.allenpress.com/aptonline/?request=get-abstract&issn=0006-324X&volume=116&issue=02&page=0380.
Hilario, A., C. Young, P. Tyler. 2005. Sperm storage, internal fertilization, and embryonic dispersal in vent and seep tubeworms (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae: Vestimentifera). The Biological Bulletin, 208: 20-28.
Horstman, M. 2003. "Ancient tubeworms engineer the deep sea" (On-line). Accessed December 02, 2010 at http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s812802.htm.
Jarnegren, J., C. Tobias, S. Macko, C. Young. 2005. Egg predation fuels unique species association at deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps. Biological Bulletin, 209: 87-93.
Marotta, R., G. Melone, M. Bright, M. Ferraguti. 2005. Spermatozoa and sperm aggregates in the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia luymesi compared with those of Riftia pachyptila (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae:Vestimentifera). The Biological Bulletin, 209: 215-226.
Pflugfelder, B. 2006. "Balance between proliferation and death - studies on the kinetics of bacteriocyte cell cycle in thiotrophic Siboglinidae symbioses" (On-line). Accessed December 11, 2006 at http://www.hydrothermalvent.com/php/content/view/48/41/.
Seibel, B., P. Walsh. 2003. Biological impacts of deep-sea carbondioxide injection inferred from indices of physiological performance. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 206: 641-650.
Southward, E. 1999. Development of Perviata and Vestimentifera (Pogonophora). Hydrobiologia, 402: 185-202.