BIOTIC Species Information for Nephtys hombergii
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formVermiform segmented
Feeding methodPredator
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesMolluscs, crustaceans & other polychaetes. HabitFree living
BioturbatorDiffusive mixing FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
HeightNot relevant Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationAbundance
Clay (1967f) lists densities of Nephtys hombergii reported by various authors from locations in the British Isles, which range from 570 per m² in the Tamar Estuary to 2 per m² at a location on the Northumbrian coast.
Nephtys hombergii excavates no permanent burrow but continually changes course in the sediment in the hunt for food, so that a maze of temporary burrows is made, marked only by a mucilage lining. These tunnels are located 5 to 15 cm beneath the surface (Linke, 1939; Holme, 1949). The sampling technique of Vader (1964) showed that the worm can move very quickly through the substratum, downwards on the ebb tide and up again on the flood tide (Clay, 1967f). Nephtys hombergii is also capable of swimming short distances with an undulatory movement.
Adults of the species are carnivorous and captures prey with its eversible, papillated proboscis.
Biology References Holme, 1949, Linke, 1939, Vader, 1964, Clay, 1967(f), Arndt & Schiedek, 1997, Beukema, 1987, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
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