Family Opheliidae

Opheliidae
Opheliidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Ventrolateral view of entire worm.

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Opheliidae (Click to enlarge)
Opheliidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Ventrolateral view of anterior region. Opheliidae (Click to enlarge)

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Opheliidae (Click to enlarge)
Opheliidae (collected from off Waglan lsland).  Dorsal view of posterior region. Opheliidae (Click to enlarge)

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Order Opheliida
Family Opheliidae

Features
Body: fusiform with a limited number of segments; usually with a deep ventral furrow
Prostomium: conical or blunt; no appendage
Eye: 2
Antennae: absent
Cirri: absent
Palp: absent
Pharynx: eversible
Parapodium: biramous or uniramous; with small button-shaped parapodial lobes
Setea: capillary, either smooth or marginally dentate
(Fauchald 1977)

Biological Notes
        There are three distinct body shapes: some ophellids are short, thick and grub-shaped; some are slender, nearly smooth and torpedo-shaped; others are anteriorly inflated and posteriorly cylindrical or narrow (Fauchald 1977).

        Ophellids are fusiform worms with a ventral groove.   They burrow head downwards in sand or mud. The respiratory current is brought down by peristalic action and escapes along the lateral grooves which bear gills.  Ophelia are common in clean sand while other genera are found in mud (Day 1967).


Genera and Species Reported in Hong Kong

Ophelina acuminata

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