Serpulidae

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Serpulidae
Temporal range: 240–0Ma[1]
Triassic - present
Spirobranchus giganteus (Red and white christmas tree worm).jpg
Spirobranchus giganteus is a species of tubeworm belonging to the Serpulidae family. Note the yellowish cartilaginous operculum extending from the branchial stalk.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Subkingdom: Eumetazoa
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Subclass: Palpata
Order: Canalipalpata
Suborder: Sabellida
Family: Serpulidae
Johnston, 1865
Genera

see text.

Tube of a serpulid worm attached to a branch of the coral Cladocora from the Pliocene of Cyprus

Serpulidae is a family of sessile, tube-building annelid worms in the class Polychaeta. The members of this family differ from the sabellid tube worms in that they have a specialized operculum that blocks the entrance of their tubes when they withdraw into the tubes. In addition, serpulids secrete tubes of calcium carbonate. Serpulids are most important biomineralizers among annelids. There are about 300 known species in the Serpulidae family, all but one of which live in saline waters. The earliest serpulids are known from the Middle Triassic.[1]

The blood of most species of serpulid and sabellid worms contains the oxygen-binding pigment chlorocruorin. This is used to transport oxygen to the tissues. It has an affinity for carbon monoxide which is 570 times as strong as that of the haemoglobin found in human blood.[2]

Empty serpulid shells can sometimes be confused with the shells of a family of marine gastropod mollusks, the Vermetidae or worm snails. The most obvious difference is that serpulid shells are dull inside, whereas the molluscan vermetid shells are shiny inside.

Selected genera[edit]

Pecten sp. with serpulid worm encrusters; Duck Harbor Beach on Cape Cod Bay, Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

Bibliography[edit]

  • "Serpulidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 25 June 2008. 
  • Ruppert, Edward E.; Richard S. Fox and Robert D. Barnes (2004). Invertebrate Zoology: A Functional Evolutionary Approach, (7th edition ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole - Thomson Learning Inc. p. 963. ISBN 0-03-025982-7. 
  • R. Tucker Abbott, 1986. Seashells of North America, St. Martin's Press, New York

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Vinn, O.; Mutvei, H. (2009). "Calcareous tubeworms of the Phanerozoic". Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences 58 (4): 286–296. doi:10.3176/earth.2009.4.07. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  2. ^ Serpula vermicularis Linnaeus, 1767 Walla Walla University. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  3. ^ http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=129563 accessed 28 October 2013

ten Hove, H.A., and van den Hurk, P., 1993, A review of Recent and fossil serpulid "reefs"; actuopalaeontology and the "upper Malm" serpulid limestones in NW Germany: Geologie en Mijnbouw. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, v. 72, no. 1, p. 23-67.