Marine Biology

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 129-132

First online:

A novel method of suspension feeding by the maldanid polychaete Praxillura maculata

  • N. McDanielAffiliated withWest Vancouver Laboratory, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • , K. BanseAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, University of Washington

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Praxillura maculata Moore (1923), quite unlike other maldanid polychaetes, constructs a membranaceous tube bearing 6 to 12 stiff radial spokes, each 25 to 30 mm long. These spokes radiate from the mouth of the tube and are arranged in almost a single plane approximately normal to its axis. A mucus web in which particles are passively caught is hung between the spokes at a distance of 2 to 7 cm above the substrate. Observations indicate that the worm swallows the mucus to obtain the food. Additions are also made to the description of the species, which has not previously been reported from British Columbia, Canada.