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Loimia medusa (Savigny in Lamarck, 1818) 

Spaghetti-Worm or the Red-Spotted Worm


John McLaughlin (2014)

 


Fact Sheet

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Summary


Brief Summary


Classification


Names


Physical Description


General Body Plan


The Tentacles


Colouration


Ecology


Habitats


Crypsis


Larvae


Behaviour


Overview


Feeding


Predatory Defense Mechanisms


Survival Mechanisms


Reproduction


Reproductive Characteristics


Reproductive Strategy


Case Study


Ecological Role


Overview


Secondary Production


Sediment Processing


Biogeographic Distribution


Life History


Larval Development


Building of Sandy Tube


Early Benthic Development


Conservation and Threats


References & Links

Survival Mechanisms



Loimia medusa also has tremendous abiotic survival capabilities. It is capable of tolerating anoxia or severe hypoxia for up to five days through several behavioural and morphological adaptations (Warren, 1984). When encountered with low dissolved oxygen feeding stops, although tube irrigation continues and periodic protrusions from the tube are common (R. LLanso & R. Diaz, 1994). Under anoxia increased rest periods contribute to metabolic rate depression and L. medusa is seemingly adapted to rely on anaerobic metabolism during such events (R. LLanso & R. Diaz, 1994). The abundance of L. medusa in estuarine channels may have a strong affiliation with the species tolerance to prolonged periods of hypoxia. In the intertidal zones of which L. medusa regularly inhabits, it is constantly being put under the stress associated with hypoxia at low tide. L. medusa and several other polychaetes confront these periodic stages of oxygen shortage by developing behavioural and physiological compensations that enable them to survive until tidal inundation reoccurs. In fact L. medusa may persevere in ecosystems or environments which are affected by moderate hypoxia as along with its wide physiological tolerance, the species is capable of high fecundity and rapid growth, whilst also producing more than one litter per year (Seitz & Schaffner, 2005).

Classification

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Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Annelida
Class
Polychaeta
Order
Terebellida
Family
Terebellidae
Genus
Loimia

Synonyms

Terebella medusa (Savigny, 1822)

Common Names

medusa worm
spaghetti worm
Medusenwurm
Spaghetti-Wurm
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Annelida
Class
Polychaeta
Order
Terebellida
Family
Terebellidae
Genus
Loimia
Species
medusa