, Volume 129, Issue 2, pp 93–98

Chambered chaetae in nereidiform polychaetes (Annelida)

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00435-010-0102-z

Cite this article as:
Pleijel, F. & Gustavsson, L. Zoomorphology (2010) 129: 93. doi:10.1007/s00435-010-0102-z


The nereidiform polychaete taxa Chrysopetalidae, Hesionidae and Nereididae are characterized by the presence of chambered chaetae. The medullae (inner part) of all examined annelid chaetae are provided with internal longitudinal canals, but in these taxa there are additional thin, transverse walls (diaphragms), giving the chaetae a barred or chambered appearance in light microscopy. We investigate this structure in chrysopetalids, hesionids, nereidids, with light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and compare it to phyllodocids and syllids, which are outside this clade. We conclude that chambered chaetae likely constitute an synapomorphy for chrysopetalids, hesionids and nereidids, although further study are required of some aphroditids and nephtyids.


Chambered chaetaeDiaphragmsNereidiformiaMicroscopy

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Ecology, TjärnöUniversity of GothenburgStrömstadSweden
  2. 2.Department of Invertebrate ZoologySwedish Museum of Natural HistoryStockholmSweden