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The genus Boccardia (Polychaeta: Spionidae) associated with mollusc shells on the south coast of South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 August 2009

C.A. Simon*
Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
T.M. Worsfold
Unicomarine, 7 Diamond Centre, Works Road, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 1LW, UK
L. Lange
Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
J. Sterley
Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Correspondence should be addressed to: C.A. Simon, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa email:


Three species of Boccardia (B. polybranchia, B. pseudonatrix and B. proboscidea) were associated with mollusc shells on the south and south-east coasts of South Africa. Boccardia polybranchia was widely distributed along the coast and falls within the known distribution range of this species. Comparisons with material from other, international, locations showed that some specimens have been misidentified. No characters could be found to characterize distinct species for different regions within the range of B. polybranchia, as currently recognized. Boccardia pseudonatrix was found only at the most eastern site, increasing its known distribution range. Boccardia proboscidea, a non-indigenous species, was found only on abalone farms and was most abundant in the west.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2009

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