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New symbiotic associations involving Syllidae (Annelida: Polychaeta), with taxonomic and biological remarks on Pionosyllis magnifica and Syllis cf. armillaris

  • Eduardo López (a1), Temir A. Britayev (a2), Daniel Martin (a3) and Guillermo San Martín (a1)


Several new symbiotic associations involving Syllidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) are reported. The number of known host sponge species infested by Haplosyllis spongicola is updated to 36, with seven hosts being reported for the first time (i.e. Aplysina corrugata, Aplysina sp., Cliona sp., Cliona viridis, Phorbas tenacior, one sponge from Iran, one sponge from Cambodia). Two infestation patterns (a few worms per host cm3 in temperate waters and 10s or 100s in tropical waters) are identified. The taxonomic and ecological characteristics of the species are discussed. Five associations occurring between four syllid worms and decapod crustaceans are fully reported for the first time. Syllis cf. armillaris, S.ferrani and S.pontxioi occurred inside gastropod shells occupied by hermit crabs as well as Pionosyllis magnifica, which was also found inside the branchial chambers of the giant crab Paralithodes camtschatica. The description of Pionosyllis magnifica is emended on the basis of the new specimens found, while some taxonomic remarks on Syllis cf. armillaris are given. In addition, further evidence of sexual (P.magnifica) and asexual (S. cf. armillaris) reproduction in symbiotic syllids is provided.


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