Last updated

Temporal range: Permian–0 [1]
Permian - present
Spirobranchus giganteus (Red and white christmas tree worm).jpg
Spirobranchus giganteus is a species of tubeworm belonging to the Serpulidae family. Note the yellowish cartilaginous operculum extending from the branchial stalk.
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Sabellida
Family: Serpulidae
Rafinesque, 1815 [2]

See text

The Serpulidae are a family of sessile, tube-building annelid worms in the class Polychaeta. The members of this family differ from other sabellid tube worms in that they have a specialized operculum that blocks the entrance of their tubes when they withdraw into the tubes. In addition, serpulids secrete tubes of calcium carbonate. Serpulids are the most important biomineralizers among annelids. About 300 species in the family Serpulidae are known, all but one of which live in saline waters. [3] The earliest serpulids are known from the Permian (Wordian to late Permian). [1]

The blood of most species of serpulid and sabellid worms contains the oxygen-binding pigment chlorocruorin. This is used to transport oxygen to the tissues. It has an affinity for carbon monoxide which is 570 times as strong as that of the haemoglobin found in human blood. [4]

Empty serpulid shells can sometimes be confused with the shells of a family of marine gastropod mollusks, the Vermetidae or worm snails. The most obvious difference is that serpulid shells are dull inside, whereas the molluscan vermetid shells are shiny inside.

Selected genera

Pecten sp. with serpulid worm encrusters; Duck Harbor Beach on Cape Cod Bay, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. SerpulidsPecten.JPG
Pecten sp. with serpulid worm encrusters; Duck Harbor Beach on Cape Cod Bay, Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

Related Research Articles

<i>Spirorbis</i> Genus of annelid worms

Spirorbis is a genus of very small polychaete worms, usually with a white coiled shell. Members of the genus live in the lower littoral and sublittoral zones of rocky shores. Spirorbis worms usually live attached to seaweeds, but some species live directly on rocks, shells or other hard substrates. Spirorbis was once thought to have a fossil record extending back into the Early Paleozoic, but now all pre-Cretaceous spirorbins are known to be microconchids. The earliest members of genus appeared in the Miocene, but Oligocene finds may also be possible. The genus contains the following species:

<i>Sabellida</i> Order of annelids

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Spirobranchus giganteus, commonly known as the Christmas tree worm, is a tube-building polychaete worm belonging to the family Serpulidae.

<i>Spirobranchus</i> Genus of annelids

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<i>Serpula</i> Genus of annelid worms

Serpula is a genus of sessile, marine annelid tube worms that belongs to the family Serpulidae. Serpulid worms are very similar to tube worms of the closely related sabellid family, except that the former possess a cartilaginous operculum that occludes the entrance to their protective tube after the animal has withdrawn into it. The most distinctive feature of worms of the genus Serpula is their colorful fan-shaped "crown". The crown, used by these animals for respiration and alimentation, is the structure that is most commonly seen by scuba divers and other casual observers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Radiole</span>

A radiole is a heavily ciliated feather-like tentacle found in highly organized clusters on the crowns of Canalipalpata. Canalipalpata is an order of sessile marine polychaete worms consisting of 31 families. These benthic annelid tube worms employ radioles primarily for alimentation. While their primary role is to function as an organ for filter feeding, radioles also serve as respiratory organs. Because of their role in gas exchange, radioles are often referred to as "gills".

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Janua pagenstecheri is a species of marine polychaete. It is widely distributed around the British Isles and across north-western Europe, and has been described as "probably the commonest spirorbid in the world".

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Olev Vinn is Estonian paleobiologist and paleontologist.

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  1. 1 2 Rossana Sanfilippo; Antonietta Rosso; Agatino Reitano; Gianni Insacco (2017). "First record of sabellid and serpulid polychaetes from the Permian of Sicily". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 62 (1): 25–38. doi: 10.4202/app.00288.2016 .
  2. Read G, Fauchald K, eds. (2019). "Serpulidae Rafinesque, 1815". World Polychaeta database. World Register of Marine Species . Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  3. Kupriyanova EK, ten Hove HA, Sket B, Zakšek V, Trontelj P, Rouse GW (1 December 2009). "Evolution of the unique freshwatercave-dwelling tube worm Marifugia cavatica (Annelida: Serpulidae)". Systematics and Biodiversity. 7 (4): 389–401. doi:10.1017/S1477200009990168 via ResearchGate.
  4. Cowles, David (2006). "Serpula vermicularis Linnaeus, 1767". Invertebrates of the Salish Sea. Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory at Walla Walla University. Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  5. Read, G.; Fauchald, K., eds. (2014). "Filograna Berkeley, 1835". World Polychaeta database. Retrieved 2015-02-22 via World Register of Marine Species.
  6. Prentiss, N.K.; Vasileiadou, K.; Faulwetter, S.; et al. (2014). "A new genus and species of Serpulidae (Annelida, Polychaeta, Sabellida) from the Caribbean Sea" (PDF). Zootaxa . 3900 (2): 204–222. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3900.2.2. PMC   4340580 . PMID   25543733.