Family Maldanidae

Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)
Maldanidae (collected from Tathong Channel).   Lateral view of entire worm.

Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

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Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

Maldanidae (collected from off Waglan Island).   Lateral view of entire worm.

Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

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Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)
Maldanidae (collected from off Waglan Island).  Lateral view of anterior region. Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

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Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)
Maldanidae (collected from Tathong Channel).   From left to right: Ventral, lateral and dorsal view of posterior region. Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

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Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)
Maldanidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Dorsal view of posterior region. Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

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Maldanidae inside a tube (Click to enlarge)
Maldanidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Anterior region (whole worm inside a tube). Maldanidae inside a tube (Click to enlarge)

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Maldanidae and its tube (Click to enlarge)
Maldanidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Left: The tube of Maldanidae.  Right: Anterior region of the worm. Maldanidae and its tube (Click to enlarge)

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Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

Maldanidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Anterior region.

Maldanidae (Click to enlarge)

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Order Capitellida
Family Maldanidae

Features
Body: long and cyclindrical; usually truncate at one or both ends; most with long, cylindrical segments
Prostomium: with a pair of nuchal slits and a median cephalic keel; no appendage
Eye: absent
Antennae: absent
Cirri: absent
Palp: absent
Pharynx: non-eversible
Parapodium: biramous; notopodia short and rounded; neuropodia elongated tori
Setea: notosetae smooth or spinose capillaries; neurosetae rostrate hooks
(Fauchald 1977)

Biological Notes
       
Maldanids are also called bamboo-worms.   They are highly specialised burrowers and feed on organic particles in the mud.   They burrow head downward and the surrounding materials are cemented  together to form a compact tube.    The pygidium plugs the entrance of the tube and the anal cirri may be sensory.   Burrowing is assisted by peristalic action of the elongated and highly contractile segments.   The water current is forced down from the tail towards the head that aids in feeding.   Clymenella and Praxillella burrow in open sandbanks and their tubes are easily broken.  Maldane can be found in softer muds and its tube is usually large.   The eggs of maldanids are incubated in mucus cocoons which are attached to the entrance of the burrow.   The larvae escape at final stage of development (Day 1967).


Genera and Species Reported in Hong Kong

Axiothella sp.
Clymenella sp.
Maldane sarsi
Praxillella gracilis

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