MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Coral worm (Salmacina dysteri)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A tubeworm between 4-5 mm long and with ca 30 body segments. The body is pink with a colourless, white or pinkish crown of 8 tentacles. Salmacina dysteri live in delicate, calcareous tubes that are almost translucent white and up to 0.5 mm in diameter. These worms occur in dense aggregations that interweave their tubes in a rope-like mass.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common around the British Isles.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Occur on rocks and may be found on the lower shore, but more commonly occur sublittorally in less sheltered areas.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Dense aggregation of interwoven tubes.
  • Tubes white, almost translucent.
  • Eight colourless, white or pinkish tentacles on the head.
  • Body pink and up to 5 mm long.

Additional information

Almost identical to the tubeworm Filograna implexa. The two species can be distinguished by the cup-shaped terminals (opercula) to two of the crown tentacles present in Filograna implexa, which are absent in Salmacina dysteri. Salmacina dysteri may form large globular masses which divers have described as "like brain coral".

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  6. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ballerstedt, S. 2006. Salmacina dysteri Coral worm. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1874

Last Updated: 30/11/2006