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Free Content Morphology, Ecology and Asexual Reproduction of a New Polydorella Species (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from the South China Sea

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A new polychaete species, Polydorella dawydoffi (Spionidae) is described from the South China Sea, Vietnam. The species attains a length of 2 mm forming 15 segments and reproduces asexually by paratomy, with the paratomic growth zone appearing between segments 11 and 12. Sexual reproduction was not observed. Polydorella dawydoffi constructs mud tubes on the surface of sponges occurring at 3–10 m depths. Density of colonies reaches up to 130 individuals˙cm-2 on the sponge surface. A key to thc four known Polydorella species is provided together with a diagnosis of the genus. As all known Polydorella species are associated with sponge surface, a unique feature within the polydorids, it is suggested that the characteristics (apomorphies) of the genus were developed in the most common ancestor in association with this specific habitat.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1996

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