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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

Case Study



Unusual mass sightings of L. medusa individuals have coincided with major disturbance events, i.e. heavy cyclone-like tropical depressions. Consequences of such events include significant inputs of sediments and fresh water by neighbouring water systems, specifically those which have a seaward flow (W. Westheide, 2003).
Studies suggest that sediment deposition may cause terrebelids such as L. medusa inhabiting the area to abandon their residence. Such behaviour is indicative of a species capable of responding quickly to ecological disturbances of significant magnitude. The temporary pelagic phase of L. medusa could then serve as an indicator for freshwater erosion ejections into oceanic environments (W. Westheide, 2003). This opportunistic migratory behaviour itself may indeed be part of a flight reaction which highlights the ability of L. medusa to colonise new marine sediments in the wake of large-scale disturbance events of their former shallow-water habitats. 


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