Tubulanus riceae

Tubulanus riceae Ritger & Norenburg

Biological Flags

  • Ecosystem: Marine
Languages: English

Overview

Type Locality

Type locality: Phragmatopoma worm reef at Walton Rocks Beach, St. Lucie County, on South Hutchinson Island, south of Fort Pierce, Florida, N 27.339012, W 80.233059

General Description

Off-white color with dark brown circular bands. Tips of the head and tail are both brown. Refractive granules in 6-8 longitudinal stripes on dorsal body surface.

Description

Look Alikes

Tubulanus rhabdotus is much larger than Tubulanus riceae but has a generally similar color pattern of pigmented rings.

Behavior

As with several other Tubulanus species, Tubulanus riceae tends to contract the posterior region into a knot or spiral. When fragmenting occurs, the body wall cinches at the pigmented annuli and pinches off fragments. This species forms a cellophane-like tube.

External Appearance

The blunt, spatulate head shape is wider than the body width. Two large, wide stripes of reflective granules extend on the dorsal surface to the first pigment band continuing posteriorly as six to eight longitudinal stripes. This species has well-developed lateral sensory organs at the third pigment band and appears to have ocelli-like structures at the tip of the head. The ventral mouth interrupts the first pigment band.

Size

10-55mm long and 0.2-0.4 mm wide

Ecology

Habitat

Intertidal worm and coquina reef rubble covered with mixed algal growth and coral rubble at 3-5m depths

Distribution

Walton Rocks Beach, St. Lucie County, on South Hutchinson Island, south of Fort Pierce, Florida and also found from coral rubble at 3-5m depths at Carrie Bow Cay (Belize) and Bocas del Toro (Panama)

References

Ritger, R K., & Norenburg J. L. (2006).  Tubulanus riceae new species (Nemertea: Anopla: Palaeonemertea: Tubulanidae), from South Florida, Belize and Panama. Journal of Natural History. 40, 931-942.