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Balanoglossus carnosus (Müller in Spengel, 1893)

Acorn worm
Patricia Lobo dos Reis (2014)


 

Fact Sheet

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Summary


Physical Description


Colour


Body plan features


Ecology


Habitats


Associations


Importance


Life History & Behaviour


Diet and feeding


Reproduction and life cycle


Mechanisms for movement


Respiratory system


Defence


Anatomy & Physiology


Evolution & Systematics


Fossil records


Biogeographic Distribution


References & Links

Summary

Balanoglossus carnosus (figure 1) belongs to the Hemichordate phylum (Gr. hemi,half, + chorda, string, cord)and the Enteropneusta class (Encyclopaedia Britannica, undated). From Greek, Balanos, acron + glossa, tongue, due to its proboscis’ shape). They are benthosbottom-burrowing animals, solitary, particularly marine and cosmopolitan thatinhabit soft sediments (Mandal, 2012). They are deposit feeding with a bigimportance to the marine environment in the food chains and also to recyclenutrients, break algae mats and mix marine sediments (EcoMarines 2013).

It presents bilateral symmetry, worm-like body divided into three regions,epithelium with cilia and stomochord (Mandal, 2012).  Mainly due to stomochord, astructure similar to the notochord, and characteristics of the larvae, it isknown as a connection between the invertebrates and the chordates (Mandal,2012).

Its reproduction is through the release of gametes on the water, thus itis a sexual and external fertilization (Mandal, 2012).

Balanoglossus carnosus can befound in intertidal to shallow waters of West Atlantic to Indian Oceans(Discover Life 2012).

Even though they are important for the whole marine environment balanceand maintenance, there are only a few studies about it.


Figure 1 - Balanoglossus carnosus collect at University of Queensland - Campus St Lucia, obtained from materials of a collect of Moreton Island.

Classification

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Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Hemichordata
Class
Enteropneusta
Order
Not assigned
Family
Ptychoderidae
Genus
Balanoglossus

Synonyms

Ptychodera carnosa (Willey, 1899)