MarLIN

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

Football jersey worm (Tubulanus annulatus)

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

Summary

Description

Tubulanus annulatus is an unsegmented, elongated, flattened ribbon worm. It is strikingly coloured, ranging from brick-red to brownish-red, marked with white longitudinal stripes and rings. This species reaches a length of 75 cm or more, usually 3-4 mm in width. Up to 50 transverse white rings may be present with three longitudinal white stripes (one mid-dorsal and two lateral). The mid-dorsal stripe extends on to the head and terminates at a transverse white band bordering the tip of the snout.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded along the south west and west coast of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland and the Isle of Man, with records from the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, the Moray Firth, Firth of Forth, the Wash, and off Bognor Regis.

Global distribution

Found from the Pacific coast of North America eastwards to the Atlantic, North Sea and Mediterranean coasts of Europe.

Habitat

Tubulanus annulatus is found sublittorally on a wide variety of substrata at depths of up to 40 m or more. It secretes a silken mucous tube, which is often found covered with sediment particles. This species is sometimes found intertidally beneath stones, amongst Laminaria holdfasts or on sand or mud near low water level.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Ventral surface paler than dorsal.
  • Up to 50 transverse white rings.
  • Three longitudinal white stripes (mid-dorsal and two lateral).
  • The mid-dorsal stripe extends on to the head and terminates at a transverse white band bordering the tip of the snout.
  • The two lateral stripes do not reach the head but run posteriorly from the first white ring encircling the body.
  • Broad and rounded head with colour and pattern like that of body.
  • Body unsegmented and ciliated.
  • Separate mouth and anus.

Additional information

The Phylum Nemertea comprises approximately 900 species of elongated, often flattened worms called ribbon worms. They range in length from a few millimetres to up to 30 m and are capable of extreme contraction and elongation. Nemerteans do not possess a distinct head. The classification of the Nemertea is based on internal morphology. Most are benthic marine animals but there are some deep water pelagic species.

Listed by

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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. Crothers, J.H. (ed.), 1966. Dale Fort Marine Fauna. London: Field Studies Council.

  3. Gibson, R., 1982. British Nemerteans. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1994. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Volume 1. Introduction and Protozoans to Arthropods. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  5. 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.]

  6. 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

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

  8. 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:

Oakley, J.A. 2008. Tubulanus annulatus Football jersey 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/2069

Last Updated: 17/04/2008