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The feeding and consequent role of Eulalia viridis (O. F. Müller) (Polychaeta) in intertidal communities

  • R. H. Emson (a1)

The intertidal phyllodocid polychaete Eulalia viridis (O. F. Müller) is widely regarded as a predator as stated, for example, by Newell (1970). This assertion is based on statements made by several authors, e.g. Moore & Kitching (1939), Glynne-Williams & Hobart (1952), Connell (1961), and Kensler (1964, 1967), who have reported E. viridis foraging over rocky substrates at low tide in daylight and in some cases have observed the insertion of the proboscis between the opercular plates of a barnacle and the subsequent ingestion of the soft tissues. The capture of a large chironomid by E. viridis has been recorded by Connell (1961). This was considered sufficient evidence for stating that E. viridis is a predator attacking living barnacles and other intertidal animals. Moore & Kitching (1939) further suggested that E. viridis might be as important a predator on barnacles as Thais lapillus (L). On the other hand Michel (1970) regarded E. viridis as a scavenger feeding on dead and decaying animals. There is evident disagreement about the feeding habits of E. viridis and consequently of its role in the population ecology of the community of which it forms a part. Examination of its feeding behaviour has been undertaken to clarify the situation.

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Connell, J. H., 1961. Effects of competition, predation by Thais lapillus and other factors on natural populations of the barnacle Balanus balanoides. Ecological Monographs, 31, 61104.

Glynne-Williams, J. & Hobart, J., 1952. Studies on the crevice fauna of a selected shore in Anglesey. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 122, 797824.

Kensler, C. B., 1964. The Mediterranean crevice habitat. Vie et milieu, 15, 947977.

Kensler, C. B., 1967. Desiccation resistance of intertidal crevice species as a factor in their zonation. Journal of Animal Ecology, 36 (2), 391406.

Kensler, C. B. & Crisp, D. J., 1965. The colonization of artificial crevices by marine invertebrates. Journal of Animal Ecology, 34 (3), 507516.

Michel, C., 1970. Rôle physiologique de la trompe chez quatre Annélides polychètes appartenant aux genres:Eulalia, Phyllodoce, Glycera et Notomastus. Cahiers de biologie marine, 11, 209228.

Moore, H. B. & Kitching, J. A., 1939. The biology of Chthamalus stellatus (Poli). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 23, 521541.

Morton, J. E., 1954. The crevice faunas of the upper intertidal zone at Wembury. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 33, 187224.

Newell, R. C., 1970. Biology of Intertidal Animals. 555 pp. London: Logos Press.

Olive, P. J. W., 1975. Reproductive biology of Eulalia viridis (Müller) (Polychaeta: Phyllodocidae) in the north eastern U.K. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 55, 313326.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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