|Parborlasia corrugatus from the Ross Sea|
Parborlasia corrugatus is a proboscis worm in the family Cerebratulidae. This species of proboscis or ribbon worm can grow to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in length, and lives in marine environments down to 3,590 metres (11,780 ft). This scavenger and predator is widely distributed in southern oceans.
Parborlasia corrugatus is smooth and flat. Adults measure 1–2 metres (3 ft 3 in–6 ft 7 in), with a diameter of approximately 2 cm (0.79 in). Specimens can weigh up to 140 grams (4.9 oz). Their colouration is variable, ranging from cream through various tones of black. This worm has a wedge-shaped head containing a cavity filled with fluid. It uses this to fire an adhesive, barbed proboscis as a means of defense, and to capture prey. This organ has adhesive secretion to aid in securing its meal.
Although this creature does not have a dedicated respiratory system, Parborlasia corrugatus is able to obtain oxygen by absorbing it through its skin. An animal of its size would typically find it difficult to receive enough oxygen this way, but this worm has a low metabolic rate, and also enjoys the advantage of its environment, which is cold, oxygen-rich Antarctic waters. When Parborlasia corrugatus experiences lower levels of oxygen in the water, it flattens and elongates its body to aid in the uptake of oxygen by increasing its skin area. This manoevre also reduces the distance that the oxygen must travel to diffuse into its body.
- Antarctic Peninsula
- south Atlantic Ocean
- South Shetland Islands ( )
- South Orkney Islands ( )
- South Sandwich Islands ( )
- South Georgia Island ( )
- Bouvet Island ( )
- Kerguelen Island ( )
- Cargados Carajos Shoals in the Indian Ocean
- Falkland Islands
- Tierra del Fuego ( )
- southern Argentina
Parborlasia corrugatus is both a scavenger and a predator, and feeds upon detritus diatoms, gastropods, amphipods, isopods, various vertebrate carrion, sponges (including Homaxinella balfourensis), jellyfish, seastars, molluscs, anemones, and polychaete worms.
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