Marine Biology

, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 27–33

Structure of the mucous feeding filter of Chaetopterus variopedatus (Polychaeta)

  • P. R. Flood
  • A. Fiala-Médioni

DOI: 10.1007/BF00393944

Cite this article as:
Flood, P.R. & Fiala-Médioni, A. Mar. Biol. (1982) 72: 27. doi:10.1007/BF00393944


The mucous feeding filter of Chaetopterus variopedatus (Renier and Clapérede) was collected as curled-up mucus and food balls ready for ingestion, and as stretched out mucus films on copper grids, introduced in the mucus bag of actively feeding individuals. By light-, scanning electron-and transmission electron microscopy the mucus film was found to consist of two crossing arrays of parallel filaments with a spacing of 0.76±0.96 μm in one direction and 0.46±0.12 μm (mean±SD) in the other. This film should effectively retain particles with a diameter down to about 0.5 μm, and let through most smaller particles. The possibility of affinity binding to hydrated mucous filaments, even at the molecular level, is also discussed.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. R. Flood
    • 1
  • A. Fiala-Médioni
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of AnatomyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Laboratoire AragoUniversite Pierre et Marie CurieBanyuls sur merFrance