BIOTIC Species Information for Spiophanes bombyx
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameSpiophanes bombyx Common nameBee spionid
MCS CodeP794 Recent SynonymsNone

PhylumAnnelida Subphylum
Superclass ClassPolychaeta
Subclass OrderSpionida
Suborder FamilySpionidae
GenusSpiophanes Speciesbombyx

Additional InformationNone entered
Taxonomy References Maurer & Lethem, 1980, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Howson & Picton, 1997,
General Biology
Growth formTubicolous
Vermiform segmented
Feeding methodPassive suspension feeder
Active suspension feeder
Surface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesSediment particles, planktonic organisms, meiobenthic organisms (Dauer et al., 1981). HabitBurrow dwelling
BioturbatorNot researched FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightNot relevant Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationFeeding
During suspension feeding captured particles are accumulated in a ciliated groove before being transported to the pharynx, this is termed 'basal' food groove accumulation behaviour (Dauer et al., 1981). Spiophanes bombyx is thought to be the only spionid that displays this unique behaviour.
Biology References Dauer et al., 1981, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Heidi Tillin, unpub data, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandSpiophanes bombyx is found off most British coasts.
Global distributionSpiophanes bombyx is found in the north-east Atlantic, Mediterranean and north Pacific.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationNone entered

Substratum preferencesFine clean sand
Sandy mud
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Wave exposureSheltered
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowModerately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityVariable (18-40 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional InformationNone entered
Distribution References Maurer & Lethem, 1980, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Bailey-Brook, 1976, Thorson, 1946, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Gage, 1972, JNCC, 1999, NBN, 2002, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonInsufficient information Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life spanSee additional information Age at reproductive maturity
Generation timeSee additional information Fecundity
Egg/propagule size Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationReproduction

Spiophanes bombyx is regarded as a typical 'r' selecting species with a short life span, high dispersal potential and high reproductive rate (Kröncke, 1990; Niermann et al., 1990). It is often found at the early successional stages of variable, unstable habitats that it is quick to colonize following perturbation (Pearson & Rosenberg, 1978). Its larval dispersal phase may allow the species to colonize remote habitats.
Reproduction References Thorson, 1946, Kröncke, 1990, Pearson & Rosenberg, 1978, Niermann et al., 1990, Eckert, 2003, Heidi Tillin, unpub data,
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