First report of the polychaete Polydora hoplura (Annelida: Spionidae) from North and South America and Asian Pacific


The spionid polychaete Polydora hoplura Claparède, 1868, is a harmful shell-borer accidentally transported with objects of aquaculture across the world. It was originally described from the Gulf of Naples, Italy, and later widely reported from European waters, South Africa, the Arabian Gulf, New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania. Here, for the first time, we describe adults and larvae of P. hoplura from Atlantic South America (Brazil), and report this species from Pacific North America (California, USA). We also examined material from Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Chile and Japan, and treat Polydora uncinata Sato-Okoshi, 1998, from Japan, as a junior synonym of P. hoplura. Consequently, we report P. hoplura for the first time in the Asian Pacific, Japan and South Korea, and in Pacific South America (Chile). The new records of P. hoplura from the American continents are cause for concern. The spread of this non-indigenous species may have negative impacts on the farm cultivation of oysters and abalone.

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Our sincere thanks are to Sean J. Handley for providing material from New Zealand, Leslie Harris for her help with the polychaete collection in LACM, Maria Cristina Gambi for her assistance in collecting polychaetes in the Gulf of Naples, Linda A. Ward and the late Mary E. Petersen and Kristian Fauchald for their help with the bibliography and discussion about Claparède’s publications. We thank Geoffrey B. Read, James M. Bishop and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and editing the manuscript. Financial support was provided by the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (the program “Far East”, Grant 15-I-6-012 o), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant 16-04-01504), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil (CNPq, Proc. 306568/2009-8) and the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil (FAPESP, Proc. 2003/08688-0).

With this publication, we acknowledge the outstanding contribution toward the descriptions of the morphology and anatomy of the polychaetous annelids provided by the talented zoologist Édouard-René Claparède (Genève, April 24, 1832 – Sienne, May 31, 1871) (de Saussure 1871, 1873).

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Correspondence to Vasily I. Radashevsky.

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Communicated by D. Fiege

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Radashevsky, V.I., Migotto, A.E. First report of the polychaete Polydora hoplura (Annelida: Spionidae) from North and South America and Asian Pacific. Mar Biodiv 47, 859–868 (2017).

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  • Brazil
  • California
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Shell-borer
  • Polydora uncinata