Marine Biology

, 165:98 | Cite as

Tube microstructure and formation in some feather duster worms (Polychaeta, Sabellidae)

  • Olev Vinn
  • Michał Zatoń
  • María Ana Tovar-Hernández
Original paper


Species of the sabellid polychaete genera Anamobaea, and Notaulax, are some of the most attractive sabellid polychaetes from coral reef areas due to their large colorful radiolar crowns. Tube microstructures of Anamobaea orstedi, Notaulax tenuitorques, and Notaulax sp. nov. are described. The studied sabellid tubes have three different types of microstructure. Most simple is irregular mesh microstructure which is composed of thin, long, and variously curved fibers of somewhat chaotic orientation (Notaulax tenuitorques). The irregular mesh microstructure could be plesiomorphic among sabellid tube structures. Oriented fibers in homogeneous matrix microstructure involves some kind of chemical control mechanisms that asserts the same orientation of all fibers (Notaulax sp. nov.). Anamobaea orstedi shows the most advanced pattern, a regular plywood structure, which is composed of thin subparallel or parallel to each other fibers that have different orientation in adjacent lamellae. Regular plywood structure has apparently greatest strength among organic tube structures of sabellids combined with good flexibility. Organic sabellid tube microstructures are likely species specific and have a taxonomic value.



Photograph 1A was shared by Humberto Bahena Basave and specimens from Veracruz were kindly sampled and proportionated by Isabel Molina, Tulio Villalobos-Guerrero, Sergio I. Salazar-Vallejo and Luis F. Carrera-Parra (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur). We are grateful to the journal editor Antonio G. Checa for corrections to the manuscript. We are also grateful to Liz Harper and an anonymous reviewer for the constructive comments on the manuscript.


Financial support to O. V. was provided by the Estonian Research Council project IUT20-34.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human/animal rights statement

All applicable national, state, and University of Tartu guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. Only invertebrates were used in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ecology and Earth SciencesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Faculty of Earth SciencesUniversity of Silesia in KatowiceSosnowiecPoland
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Biosistemática, Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma de Nuevo LeónSan Nicolás de los GarzaMexico

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