Family Poecilochaetidae

Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)
Poecilochaetidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Dorsal view of anterior region. Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)
Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)
Poecilochaetidae (collected from Tathong Channel).  Dorsal view of anterior region. Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)

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Setae of poecilochaetidae
Setae at anterior region of Poecilochaetidae. Setae of Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)

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Setae of Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)
Setae at anterior region of Poecilochaetidae. Setae of Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)

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Setae of Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)
Setae at abdominal region of Poecilochaetidae. Setae of Poecilochaetidae (Click to enlarge)

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Order Spionida
Family Poecilochaetidae

Features
Body: long and slender
Prostomium: small and rounded
Peristomium: reduced
Eye: 2 or 4
Antennae: 1; frontal or median at prostomium
Cirri: 2 or 4; at the first segment
Palp: 2; at the postectal corners
Pharynx: non-eversible
Parapodium: biramous; with lateral sense-organs between rami
Setea: capillaries, pectinate, plumose and acicular
Anal cirri: 3 or 4
(Fauchald 1977)

Biological Notes
        Poecilochaetids can be found in shallow tropic waters and from intertidal to deep waters.   They are deposit and suspension feeders on algae and diatoms.   They burrow in mud-filled crevices and stretch out their very long, grooved tentacles for seaching detritus.   They may live in friable mucus tubes covered with foraminiferan shells (Day 1967).   Three new species of Poecilochaetus were reported from Hong Kong (Mackie 1990).   They were P. hystricosus (from Tolo habour and Long Habour), P. spinulosus (from Tso Wo Hang and Wong Keng Tei) and P. tricirratus (from Mirs Bay and Tolo Channel).


Genera and Species Reported in Hong Kong

Poecilochaetus hystricosus*
Poecilochaetus spinulosus*
Poecilochaetus tricirratus*

* new species

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