BIOTIC Species Information for Aphelochaeta marioni
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Peter Gibbs
General Biology
Growth formVermiform segmented
Feeding methodSurface deposit feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesOrganic debris, diatoms HabitBurrow dwelling
Bioturbator FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
Height Growth Rate1-1.5 mm/month
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationAbundance
Gibbs (1969) studied the abundance of Aphelochaeta marioni (studied as Tharyx marioni) in Stonehouse Pool, Plymouth Sound. In silt/clay sediments at 5 m depth, the species occurred at a maximum density of 108,000 individuals/m2. In silt/clay and fine sand at the low water mark, the maximum density was 61,150 individuals/m2. Farke (1979) studied the abundance of Aphelochaeta marioni (studied as Tharyx marioni) in the Wadden Sea, Netherlands. In the intertidal, the maximum recorded abundance was 71,200 individuals/m2 in muddy sand.

Aphelochaeta marioni is a deposit feeder, feeding at the surface of the sediment at night. While feeding the animal remains in its burrow and the two palps roam at the surface transporting sand, debris and diatoms to the mouth along a tentacle canal crenulated with cilia. Farke (1979) is unsure whether Aphelochaeta marioni is a selective feeder, but it seems not, as sand grains have been found in the gut of the animal.
Biology References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Gibbs et al., 1983, Farke, 1979, Gibbs, 1969,
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