Family Chaetopteridae

Spiochaetopterus sp.
Spiochaetopterus sp. (collected from Tathong Channel).  From left to right: Lateral, ventral and dorsal view of anterior region.

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Spiochaetopterus sp.
Spiochaetopterus sp. (collected from Tathong Channel).  Lateral (left) and ventral (right) view of anterior region.

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Order Spionida
Family Chaetopteridae

Features
Body: divided into 2 or 3 distinct regions
Prostomium: palps present
Peristomium: 1 - 2 pairs of tentacular cirri
Eye: absent or 2
Antennae: absent
Cirri: 2
Palp: 2
Pharynx: non-eversible
Parapodium: uniramous parapodia in anterior region; biramous parapodia in median and posterior regions
Setea: capillary, limbate; modified spines in setiger 4
(Fauchald 1977)

Biological Notes
        All chaetopterids are tubicolous with an extremely fragile epithelium which produces abundant mucus.   The tube of Phyllochactopterus and Spiochaetopterus is horny and ringed with one end buried or attached to the substrate
(Day 1967).

        The chaetopterids are ciliary feeder.   A feeding current is produced by the pumping action of the fused notopodia or the beating of cilia on the smaller non-fused notopodia of the middle region.   The food current passes down the dorsal surface of the body.   The food particles are trapped in a mucus bag secreted by the enlarged notopodia of the second segment of the middle region (Day 1967).


Genera and Species Reported in Hong Kong

Phyllochactopterus sp.
Spiochaetopterus costarum

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