BIOTIC Species Information for Serpula vermicularis
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formVermiform segmented
Feeding methodPassive suspension feeder
Active suspension feeder
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesDetritus HabitTubiculous
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityInsufficient information
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightSee additional text Growth Ratemean of 9 mm of tube/month
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationThe tube is attached to hard substrata at the base but in reef aggregations is often free for much of its length. Height above the substratum varies but in reefs individual tubes may reach up to 18 cm, while the reefs themsleves vary between 75 cm and 2 m in hieght (Holt et al., 1998). Sociability
Dense aggregations of Serpula vermicularis tubes occur in enclosed and sheltered locations. These dense settlements of larvae on adult tubes may indicate larval gregarity but Bosence (1979(b)) suggests that aggregations only occur in locations with larval retention and few other hard substrates available for larval settlement. In the open marine environment Serpula vermicularis is not normally gregarious.

Serpula vermicularis is a suspension feeder that can actively create its own feeding current and so can inhabit areas with little water movement.

Biology References Holt et al., 1998, Fish & Fish, 1996, Bosence, 1979(b), Heidi Tillin, unpub data,
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