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You are here:   OldClasses > 2012 > Myzostoma sp. | Samantha Eady




Myzostoma sp.

(Samantha Eady 2012)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


Micro-Habitats and Associations

All Myzostomid species live in association with Echinoderms, primarily on comatulid Crinoids (Lanterbecq et al. 2009a). Myzostomids that were observed on Heron Island reef were predominantly ectocommensals, located on the oral disc and arms of Crinoids (own research), however other Myzostomid worms can also be found within the digestive system, coelom or gonads of the crinoid as parasites (Lanterbecq et al. 2009a). Myzostoma sp. were found on the oral disc of a crinoid species from the family Comasteridae. Due to this association, it would be expected that Myzostomids would most often be found in the same habitat types as echinoderms, mainly crinoids. Crinoids were commonly found with their arms tangled within the gaps of coral boulders along the shallow rocky reefs and at the reef crest surrounding Heron Island, however they are known to occupy a wider range of other habitat types (Bradbury 1987). In general, myzostomids have been observed in areas ranging from intertidal zones to more than three thousand metres in depth (Lanterbecq et al. 2009a). Small crustaceans (shrimps) were also found to inhabitat the same oral disk area as Myzostoma sp. on its Crinoid host.


Image illustrating the coral reef habitat of a
Crinoid at Heron Island (Photo by Sam Eady).

             Image illustrating the coral reef habitat (reef crest) where Myzostoma sp. and its crinoid host were found (Photo by Sam Eady)


Myzostomid worms have the ability to easily avoid detection by mimicking the colour and colour patterns of their host. This allows them to cryptically camouflage and in turn avoid being seen by predators, or humans. Myzostoma sp. shows this by its similar colouring to its crinoid host (see physical characteristics for an image).



(2 objects, created 5/6/2011)

Album: This is a private album that is not visible to anonymous users Great Barrier Reef Invertebrates



Album: 2012

Album: 2011