Family Spionidae

Spionidae (Click to enlarge)
Minuspio cirrifera (collected from Victoria Habour).  Lateral view of anterior region. Spionidae (Click to enlarge)

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Spionidae (Click to enlarge)
Spionidae (collected from Victoria Habour).  Lateral view of anterior region; other part inside the tube. Spionidae (Click to enlarge)

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Spionidae (Click to enlarge)
Minuspio cirrifera (collected from Victoria Habour). Dorsal view of anterior region. Spionidae (Click to enlarge)

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Spionidae (Click to enlarge)
Prionospio sp. (collected from Tathong Channel).  Dorsal view of anterior region. Spionidae (Click to enlarge)

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Spionidae (Click to enlarge)

Prionospio sp. (collected from Tathong Channel).  Ventral view of anterior region.

Spionidae (Click to enlarge)

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

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

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

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Order Spionidae
Family Spionidae

Features
Body: elongated and flatten; many segments
Prostomium: anteriorly blunt; with frontal horns, or pointed; no appendage
Eye: absent, 2 or 4
Antennae: 1
Cirri: absent or 2
Palp: 2 or 4; at postectal corners of prostomium
Pharynx: absent
Parapodium: biramous; parapodial lobes cirriform or foliose
Setea: simple including capillaries and bi- or multidentate, hooded or non-hooded hooks
Anal cirri: 2 or 4
(Fauchald 1977)

Biological Notes
        Spionids are very common in all environments.   Some spionids such as Polydora and Boccardia are burrowers in calcareous substrata or in rock.   Some species of Polydora live in soft limestone, dead coral and living mollusc shells.   Scolelepis burrows in intertidal sandbanks where there is sufficient water movement to keep the detritus moving.   Malacoceros burrows in crevices filled with mud.   Spio often forms dense colonies on sandbanks (Day 1967).   Others build permanent tubes in soft substrata or are free living in sands and muds.   Minuspio cirrifera are very useful sedentary worms that can be used as indicator of organic pollution.   They dominate in Tolo Habour, Tolo Channel and Mirs Bay where is polluted from sewage and development activities (Thompson and Shin 1983).    Prionospio saccifera is a new species reported from Hong Kong and Red Sea (Mackie and Hartley 1990).   It was found in Mirs Bay, Tolo Channel, Jone's Cove and Long Harbour.

        Spionids are typical deposit feeders.   They stretch out a pair of long peristomial tentacles or palps over the substratum to gather food particles.   Most of them lay large eggs which are enclosed in tough egg-capsules.   The eggs may be liberated directly into the seawater and all development takes place in the plankton.    Some eggs are protected inside the burrow during the early development (Day 1967).


Genera and Species Reported in Hong Kong

Aonides oxycephala   
Laonice cirrata
Malacoceros
sp.
Minuspio cirrifera
Paraprionospio pinnata
Polydora cf. socialis
Polydora cf. tentaculata
Polydorella novaegeorgiae
Prionospio malmgreni
Prionospio saccifera*
Pseudopolydora
sp.
Rhynchospio sp.
Scolelepis sp.
Spio sp.
Spiophanes bombyx

* new species

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