Family Serpulidae

Serpulidae (Click to enlarge)
Serpulidae (collected from Tathong Channel).   Left: Ventral view of entire worm.  Right: Lateral view of entire worm. Serpulidae (Click to enlarge)


Serpulidae (Click to enlarge)

Serpulidae (collected from Tai Long Wan).  Lateral view of entire worm.

Serpulidae (Click to enlarge)


Setae of Serpulidae

Setae of Serpulidae.


Order Sabellida
Family Serpulidae

Body: small and short
Prostomium: reduced and fused with peristomium
Peristomium; form a large tentacular crown with one operculum modified from a radiole
Eye: absent
Antennae: absent
Cirri: absent
Palp: absent
Pharynx: non-eversible
Parapodium: biramous or reduced
Thorax setea: notosetae limbate capillaries; neurosetae uncini
Abdominal setae: notosetae uncini; neurosetae capillaries
(Day 1967)

Biological Notes
        Serpulids are suspension feeders.   Their branchial crown at the head region is for respiration and filter-feeding.   The tubes are calcareous and the entrance is plugged by a stalked operculum formed from a modified radiole of the branchial crown.   The operculum is for protection and reducing water loss.   When alarmed they retract very rapidly as it has well developed giant nerve fibers.   The tubes of Serpulids are usually attached to rocks, corals, ships' hull, piers, seashells or other hard objects.  Hydroides norvegica appears to prefer floating objects such as buoys and ships' hull so it has a cosmopolitan distribution (Day 1967).

        Serpulids are fouling organisms that damage to ships' hull, piers, water pipes, seashells and any artificial surfaces submerged in seawater, causing increased maintenance cost and the risk of mechanical failure.   In China, they reduce the yield of economically important seashells (Yang and Sun 1986).

Genera and Species Reported in Hong Kong

Hydroides elegans