Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2020-12-28

Redescription of Neanthes micromma Harper, 1979 (Annelida: Nereididae) based on types and additional material from Tampa Bay, Florida, USA, with a discussion of ontogenetic morphological variation

Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, Inc., Newberry, Florida, 32669, USA
Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, GPO Box 4646, Darwin NT 0801, Australia
Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida. USA


Small specimens of a seemingly undescribed nereidid polychaete species from Tampa Bay, Florida, USA lacked notopodial falcigers, paragnaths and papillae on the pharynx, and dorsal ligules. Quantitative analysis of a larger size range of material showed that all specimens could be referred to Nereis (Neanthes) micromma Harper, 1979. The use of Neanthes Kinberg, 1865 as a subgenus of Nereis Linnaeus, 1758 is no longer accepted and this species is now formally referred to Neanthes micromma Harper, 1979, which is here redescribed to better account for the observed size-related variation. Contrary to the original description, in this species, notaciculae are present in chaetigers 1 and 2, but difficult to observe. Given that earlier studies have identified the potential phylogenetic significance of presence of notaciculae, it is suggested that re-evaluation of this character in similar Nereididae may assist in revising the status of the polyphyletic genus Neanthes.


  1. Anderson, D.T. (1961) The development of the polychaete Haploscoloplos fragilis. Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science, London, 102 (2), 257–272.

    Bakken, T. & Wilson, R.S. (2005) Phylogeny of nereidids (Polychaeta, Nereididae) with paragnaths. Zoologica Scripta, 32, 507–547.

    Barnes, R.S.K. (1978) Variation in paragnath number of Nereis diversicolor in relation to sediment type and salinity regime. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 6 (3), 275–283.

    Barnes, R.S.K. & Head, S.M. (1977) Variation in paragnath number in some British populations of the estuarine polychaee Nereis diversicolor. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 5 (6), 771–781.

    Bass, N.R. & Brafield, A.E. (1972) The life-cycle of the polychaete Nereis virens. Journal of the Marine Biological Association, 52, 701–720.

    Berkeley, E. & Berkeley, C. (1961) Notes on Polychaeta from California to Peru. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 39, 655–664.

    Bick, A. (2005) Redescription of Fabriciola tonerella Banse, 1959, and a new record of Novafabricia infratorquata (Fitzhugh, 1983) from the Mediterranean Sea, with a key for the Fabriciinae (Annelida: Polychaeta) of the Mediterranean Sea and the north-east Atlantic. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 244, 137–152.

    Chamberlin, R.V. (1919) The Annelida Polychaeta. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, 48, 1–493.

    Claparède, E. (1870) Les annelids chétopodes du Golfe de Naples. Supplément. Mémoires de la Société de Physique et d’Histoire Naturelle de Genève, 20, 365–542.

    Day, J.H. (1967) A monograph of the Polychaeta of Southern Africa. Part 1. Errantia. British Museum of Natural History, London. 458 pp.

    de León-González, J.A., Solís-Weiss, V. & Ochoa-Rivera, V. (1999) Nereidids (Polychaeta) from the Caribbean Sea and adjacent Coral Islands of the southern Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 112(4): 667–681.

    de Saint-Joseph, A.A. (1898) Les Annélides Polychètes des cȏtes de France (Manche et Océan). Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Zoologie, Série 8, 5, 209–464.

    Dean, H.K. (2001) Some Nereididae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 49 (2): 37–67.

    Ehlers, E. (1868) Die Borstenwürmer (Annelida Chaetopoda) nach Systematischen und Anatomischen Untersuchungen. Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, xx + 269, 269–748, 24 taf.

    Fauchald, K. (1977a) The polychaete worms: definitions and keys to the orders, families and genera. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series, 28, 1–190.

    Fauchald, K. (1977b) Some nereid polychaetes from deep water. In: Reish, D.J. & Fauchald, K. (Eds.), Essays on Polychaetous Annelids in Memory of Dr. Olga Hartman. Allan Hancock Foundation, Los Angeles, pp. 157–171.

    Fauvel, P. (1923) Polychètes errantes. Faune de France, 5, 1–488.

    Glasby, C.J., Wilson, R.S. & Bakken, T. (2011) Redescription of the Indo-Pacific polychaete Neanthes pachychaeta (Fauvel, 1918) n. comb. (Annelida, Phyllodocida, Nereididae) and its synonyms. Zoosystema, 33 (3), 361–375.

    Gravier, C. (1901) Contribution à l′étude des annélides polychètes de la Mer Rouge (Suite). Nouvelles Archives du Muséum d′Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 4e Série, 3 (2), 147–268, pls 7–10.

    Grube, A.E. (1858) Annulata örstediana. Enumeratio Annulatorum, quae in itinere per Indiam occidentalem et Americam centralem annis 1845–1848 suscepto legit cl. A. S. Örsted, adjectis speciebus nonnullis a cl. H. Kröyero in itinere ad Americam meridionalem collectis, (Fortsaettelse [continued]). [2. Familia Euniceae–F. Syllidea]. Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening, 158–186.

    Grube, A.E. (1874) Die Familie der Lycorideen und die Ausfstellung von Gruppen in der Gattung Nereis. Jahres-Bericht der Schlesischen Gessellschaft für vaterländische Cultur, Breslau, 51, 56–72.

    Harper, D.H. Jr. (1979) Nereis (Neanthes) micromma n. sp. (Polychaeta: Nereididae) from the northern Gulf of Mexico with a note on the structure of nereidid palps. Contributions in Marine Science, 22, 91–103.

    Hartman, O. (1940) Polychaetous Annelids. Part II. Chrysopetalidae to Goniadidae. Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions, 7 (3), 173–287, pls 31–44.

    Hartmann-Schröder, G. (1971) Annelida, Borstenwürmer, Polychaeta. Die Tierwalt Deutschlands, 58, 1–594.

    Hartmann-Schröder, G. (1975) Polychaeten der Iberischen tiefsee, gesammelt auf der 3. Reise der Meteor im Jahre 1966. Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut, 72, 47–73.

    Hartmann-Schröder, G. (1981) Die polychaeten der Fahrten 11, 19, 21 und 26 (1967–1972) von F.S. ‘Meteor’ in das Gebiet zwischen dem Golf von Biscaya und dem Auftriebsgebiet vor Westafrika. METEOR Forsch.-Ergebnisse, Ser. D, 33, 23–36.

    Hernández-Alcántara, P. & Solís-Weiss, V. (1991) New records of errantiate polychaetous annelids from the Gulf of California. Bulletin of Marine Science, 48 (2), 251–260.

    Kinberg, J.G.H. (1865) Annulata nova. Nereidum dispositio nova. Öfversigt af Kongelige Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar, 22, 167–179.

    Linnaeus, C. (1758) Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentius Salvius, Holmiae, ii + 824 pp.

    Mazurkiewicz, M. (2009) The ontogeny of parapodia and setae in Laeonereis culveri (Webster) (Polychaeta: Nereididae). Zoosymposia, 2, 369–377.

    McIntosh, W.C. (1885) Report on the Annelida Polychaeta collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Zoology, 12 (part 34), i-xxxvi, 1–554, pl. 1–55, 1A–39A, & Annelida stations map.

    Orrhage, L. & Sundberg, P. (1990) Multivariate analysis of morphometric differentiation within the Laonice cirrata-group (Polychaeta, Spionidae). Zoologica Scripta, 19 (2), 173–178.

    Peters, W. (1881) Beschreibungen von neuen Anneliden des zoologischen Museums zu Berlin. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft der naturforschende Freunde zur Berlin, 1881 (7), 109–117.

    Read, G. & Fauchald, K. (Ed.) (2019) World Polychaeta database. [ on 2019-09-24]

    Reish, D.J. (1954) The life history and ecology of the polychaetous annelid Nereis grubei (Kinberg). Allan Hancock Foundation Occasional Paper, 14, i–iii, 1–74, pl. 1–14.

    Sars, M. (1835) Beskrivelser og lagttagelser over nogel moerkelige eller nye I Havet ved den Bergenske Kyst levende Dyr af Polypernes, Acalephernes, Radiaternes, Annelidernes og Mollusckernes classer, med en kort Oversigt over de hidtil af Forfatteren sammesteds fundne Arter og deres Forekommen. Bergen, Thorstein Hallagers Forlag hos Chr. Dahl, R. S., xii + 81 pp., 15 pls.

    Sato, M. (2013) Resurrection of the genus Nectoneanthes Imajima, 1972 (Nereididae: Polychaeta), with redescription of Nectoneanthes oxypoda (Marenzeller, 1879) and description of a new species, comparing them to Neanthes succinea (Leuckart, 1847). Journal of Natural History, 1–50.

    Taylor, J.L. (1984) Family Nereidae Johnston, 1845. In: Uebelacker, J.M. & Johnson, P.G. (Eds.), Taxonomic guide to the polychaetes of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Final report to the Minerals Management Service, contract 14-12-001-29091. Volume 5. Barry A. Vittor & Associates, Inc., Mobile, Alabama, pp. 31–42.

    Treadwell, A.L. (1928) Polychaetous annelids from the Arcturus Oceanographic Expedition. Zoologica, 8 (8), 449–485.

    Uschakov, P.V. (1965) Polychaeta of the Far Eastern Seas of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (Translation of Uschakov, 1955). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, Israel, 419 pp.

    Villalobos-Guerrero, T.F. & Carrera-Parra, L.F. (2015) Redescription of Alitta succinea (Leuckart, 1847) and reinstatement of A. acutifolia (Ehlers, 1901) n. comb. Based upon morphological and molecular data (Polychaeta: Nereididae). Zootaxa, 3919 (1), 157–178.

    Villalobos-Guerrero, T.F. & Bakken, T. (2018) Revision of the Alitta virens species complex (Annelida: Nereididae) from the North Pacific Ocean. Zootaxa, 4483 (2), 201–257.

    Webster, H.E. (1879) The Annelida Chaetopoda of the Virginian coast. Transactions of the Albany Institute, 9, 202–269, pls I–XI.

    Wilson, D.P. (1932) The development of Nereis pelagica Linnaeus. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 18, 203–217.

    Wilson, R.S. (1984) Neanthes (Polychaeta: Nereididae) from Victoria with descriptions of two new species. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 96 (4), 209–226.

    Wilson, R.S. (1988) Synonymy of the genus Nectoneanthes Imajima, 1972, with Neanthes Kinberg, 1866 (Polychaeta: Nereididae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 101 (1), 4–10.

    Wu, B.L., Sun, R. & Yang, D.J. (1985) The Nereidae (Polychaetous Annelids) of the Chinese Coast. Springer-Berlag, Berlin, 234 pp.

    Zottoli, R.A. & Long, C.D. (1998) Late development of the Pan-Neotropical Nereis riisei Grube, 1857 (Polychaeta: Nereididae). Bulletin of Marine Science, 62 (1), 135–143.