Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2009-10-29

Species of the subgenera Aquilaspio and Prionospio (Polychaeta: Spionidae: Prionospio) from the southern coast of Turkey (Levantine Sea, eastern Mediterranean), with description of a new species and two new reports for the Mediterranean fauna

Ege University, Faculty of Fisheries, Department of Hydrobiology, 35100 Bornova, Izmir, TURKEY
Ege University, Faculty of Fisheries, Department of Hydrobiology, 35100 Bornova, Izmir, TURKEY
Annelida Prionospio (Prionospio) ergeni Lessepsian eastern Mediterranean Sea Mediterranean coast of Turkey alien species


The present study deals with species of the subgenera Prionospio (Aquilaspio) and Prionospio (Prionospio) collected from various habitats and depths along the southern coast of Turkey in September and October 2005. The examination of a large collection of material revealed 10 species, of which one species, Prionospio (P.) ergeni n. sp., is new to science; two species, P. (P.) depauperata and P. (A.) krusadensis, are new to the Mediterranean fauna; and one species, P. (A.) sexoculata, is new to the Turkish marine fauna. Prionospio (P.) ergeni n. sp. differs from all other Prionospio species in having three pairs of pinnate branchiae between chaetigers 2 and 4 and one pair of apinnate branchiae on chaetiger 5. Four species―P. (P.) saccifera, P. (A.) sexoculata, P. (P.) depauperata, and P. (A.) krusadensis―are aliens. The former two species could have been introduced to the Mediterranean from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal (Lessepsian migrants) and the others from the Pacific or Indian Oceans via ballast water of ships. The morphological, ecological, and distributional features of these species are discussed.


  1. Amoureux, L., Rullier, F. & Fishelson, L. (1978) Systématique et écoloie d′Annélides Polychètes de la Presqu′îl du Sinai. Israel Journal of Zoology, 27, 57–163.

    Augener, H. (1918) Polychaeta. In: Michaelsen, W. (Ed.) Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Meeresfauna West-Afrikas, 2(2), 67–625.

    Bellan, G. (1964) Contribution à l′étude systématique, bionomique et écologique des Annélides Polychétes de la Méditerranée. Thèse Univ. d′Aix-Marseille, Recueil des Travaux de la Station Marine d′Endoume, 49, 371 pp.

    Ben-Eliahu, M.N. (1995) An annotated list of Polychaeta along the Levant Coast. Haasiana, 1, 78–93.

    Ben-Eliahu, M.N. & Fiege, D. (1995) Polychaeta from the continental shelf and slope of Israel collected by the ′Meteor′ 5 Expedition (1987). Senckenbergiana Maritima, 25(4/6), 85–105.

    Blake, J.A. (1983) Polychaetes of the family Spionidae from South America, Antarctica, and adjacent seas and islands. In: Kornicker, L.S. (Ed.), Biology of the Antarctic Seas XIV. Antarctic Research Series, 39, 205–288.

    Blake, J.A. (1996) Family Spionidae Grube, 1850. In: Blake, J.A, Hilbig, B. & Scott, P.H. (Eds.), Taxonomic Atlas of the Benthic Fauna of the Santa Maria Basin and Western Santa Barbara Channel, Volume 6. The Annelida Part 3. Polychaeta: Orbiniidae to Cossuridae. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, pp. 81–221.

    Blake, J.A. & Kudenov. J.D. (1978) The Spionidae (Polychaeta) from southeastern Australia and adjacent areas, with a revision of the genera. Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, 39, 171–280.

    Çinar, M.E. (2005) Polychaetes from the coast of northern Cyprus (eastern Mediterranean Sea), with two new records for the Mediterranean Sea. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 46, 143–161.

    Çinar, M.E. & Ergen, Z. (1999) Occurrence of Prionospio saccifera (Spionidae: Polychaeta) in the Mediterranean Sea. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 40, 105–112.

    Çinar, M.E., Katagan, T., Öztürk, B., Egemen, Ö., Ergen, Z., Kocatas, A., Önen, M., Kirkim, F., Bakir, K., Kurt, G., Dagli, E., Kaymakçi, A., Açik, S., Dogan, A. & Özcan, T. (2006) Temporal changes of soft bottom zoobenthic communities in and around Alsancak Harbor (Izmir Bay, Aegean Sea), with special attention to the autoecology of exotic species. Marine Ecology, 27, 229–246.

    Çinar, M.E., Katagan,T., Koçak, F., Öztürk, B., Ergen, Z., Kocatas, A., Önen, M., Kirkim, F., Bakir, K., Kurt, G., Dagli, E., Açik, S., Dogan, A. & Özcan, T. (2008) Faunal assemblages of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in and around Alsancak Harbour (Izmir Bay, eastern Mediterranean) with special emphasis on alien species. Journal of Marine Systems, 71, 1-17.

    Day, J.H. (1961) The polychaete fauna of South Africa. Part 6. Sedentary species dredged off Cape coasts with a few new records from the shore. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology, 44, 463–560.

    Day, J. H. (1967) A Monograph on the Polychaeta of Southern Africa. Part 2, Sedentaria. British Museum (Natural History) Publication No. 656, 459–878.

    Desbruyères, D., Guille, A. & Ramos, J. (1972–73) Bionomie benthique du plateau continental de la côte catalane espagnole. Vie et Milieu, 23, 335–363.

    Doğan, A., Çinar, M.E., Önen, M., Ergen, Z. & Katağan, T. (2005) Seasonal dynamics of soft - bottom zoobenthic communities in polluted and unpolluted areas of Izmir Bay (Aegean Sea). Senckenbergiana Maritima, 35, 133–145.

    Ergen, Z. (1979) the effects of pollution on the distribution of the Polychaeta in Izmir Bay. Bulletin of Türkiye Ulusal Jeodezi-Jeofizik Birliği, 11, 77–82 (in Turkish).

    Ergen, Z. (1992) The Latest Status of Polychaeta in the Soft Substrate of İzmir Bay. Rapport de la Commission International Exploration de la Mer. Mediterranée, 31, 36.

    Ergen, Z., Çinar, M. E. & Ünsal, M. (1998) Polychaetes from the Manavgat River Delta (Turkish Mediterranean coast). Rapport de la Commission International Exploration de la Mer Mediterranée, 35, 536.

    Ergen, Z., Dora, Ç., & Çinar, M.E. (2002) Seasonal Analysis of Polychaeta from the Gediz River Delta (İzmir Bay, Aegean Sea), Acta Adriatica, 43, 29–42.

    Fauvel, P. (1927) Polychètes sédentaires. Addenda aux Errantes, Archiannélides, Myzostomaires. Faune de France, 16, 1–494.

    Fauvel, P. (1928) Annélides polychètes nouvelles de Maroc. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France, 53, 9–13.

    Fauvel, P. (1929) Polychètes nouvelles du Golf of Mannar (Inde). Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France, 54, 180–186.

    Foster, N.M. (1971) Spionidae (Polychaeta) of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Studies on the Fauna of Curaçao and other Caribbean Islands, 36, 1–183.

    Hartman, O. (1969) Atlas of the Sedentariate Polychaetous Annelids from California. Allan Hancock Foundation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 812 pp.

    Hartmann-Schröder, G. (1996) Annelida, Borstenwürmer, Polychaeta. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands, 58 (2nd Edition). Gustav Fischer, 648 pp.

    Hutchings P.A. and Turvey S.P. (1984) The Spionidae of South Australia (Annelida: Polychaeta). Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 108, 1–20.

    Hylleberg, J. & Nateewathana, A. (1991) Polychaetes of Thailand. Spionidae (Part 1); Prionospio of the steenstrupi group with description of eight new species from the Andaman Sea. Phuket Marine Biological Center, Research Bulletin, 55, 1–32.

    Imajima, M. (1990a) Spionidae (Annelida, Polychaeta) from Japan IV. The genus Prionospio (Prionospio). Bulletin of the Natural Science Museum Tokyo, Series A, 16(3), 105–140.

    Imajima, M. (1990b) Spionidae (Annelida, Polychaeta) from Japan II. The genus Prionospio (Aquilaspio). Bulletin of the Natural Science Museum Tokyo, Series A, 16(1), 1–13.

    Imajima, M. (1990c) Spionids (Annelida, Polychaeta) obtained by dredging from Oshima Strait and Yakiuchi Bay, Amami-Oshima of Ryukyu Islands. Memoirs of the Natural Science Museum Tokyo, 23, 93–99.

    Johnson, P.G. (1984) Family Spionidae Grube, 1850. In: Uebelacker J. M. & Johnson, P.G. (Eds.). Taxonomic Guide to the Polychaetes of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Barry A. Vittor & Associates, Inc., Mobile, Alabama. 6.1–6.9.

    Laubier, L. (1962) Quelques Annélides polychètes de la lagune de Venise. Description de Prionospio caspersi n. sp., Vie et Milieu, 13, 123–159.

    Laubier, L. (1965) Quelques annélides polychètes de l′Atlantique récemment signalées ou nouvelles en Méditerranée occidentale. Rapport de la Commission İnternational Exploration de la Mer. Mediterranée, 18, 135–138.

    Laubier, L. (1968) Contribution à la faunistique du coralligène. VII. Apropos de quelques annélides polychètes rares ou nouvelles (Chrysopetalidae, Syllidae et Spionidae). Annales de l′Intitut Océanographique, 46, 80–107.

    Laubier, L. (1970) Prionospio salzi sp. nov., un spionidien (Annelide Polychète) des côtes Méditerranéennes d′Israel. Israel Journal of Zoology, 19, 183–190.

    Light, W.J. (1978) Spionidae. Polychaeta: Annelida. Invertebrates of the San Francisco Bay Estuary System. The Boxwood Press, Pacific Grove, California. 211 pp.

    Maciolek, N.J. (1985) A revision of the genus Prionospio Malmgren, with special emphasis on species from the Atlantic Ocean, and new records of species belonging to the genera Apoprionospio Foster, and Paraprionospio Caullery (Polychaeta: Spionidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 84, 325–383.

    Mackie, A.S.Y. & Hartley, J.P. (1990) Prionospio saccifera sp. nov. (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from Hong Kong and the Red Sea, with a redescription of Prionospio ehlersi Fauvel, 1928. In: Morton, B. (Ed.), The marine flora and fauna of Hong Kong and southern China II. Volume 1. Introduction and taxonomy. Proceedings of the Second International Marine Biological Workshop, Hong Kong University Press, pp. 363–375.

    Malmgren, A.J. (1867) Annulata Polychaeta Spetsbergiae, Grönlandiae, Islandiae et Scandinaviae hactenus cognita. Öfversigt af Konglige Vetenskaps Akademiens Förhandlingar, Stockholm, 24, 127–235.

    Nateewathana, A. & Hylleberg, J. (1991) Characters used to separate species of Prionospio (Spionidae) of the steenstrupi group from the Andaman Sea, Thailand. In: Reish, D. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Third International Polychaete Conference, Long Beach, 1989, Bulletin of Marine Science, 48, 277–279.

    Okuda, S. (1937) Spioniform polychaetes from Japan. Journal of the Faculty of Sciences, Hokkaido Imperial University, 5, 217–254.

    Rullier, F. & Amoureux, L. (1968) Annélides polychètes du golfe de Tarente. Résultats des campagnes l′Albatros (1966-1967). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturelle, Genova, 77, 386–407.

    Sars, M. (1872) Diagnoser af nye annelider fra Christiania fjorden. Forhandlinger i Videnskapselskapet i Kristiana, 1871, 406–417.

    Sigvaldadóttir, E. (1992) Redescription of Prionospio banyulensis Laubier, 1966, and re-examination of P. ockelmanni Pleijel, 1985 (Polychaeta, Spionidae). Ophelia, 35, 209–217.

    Sigvaldadóttir, E. (1996) Systematics of Spionidae and Prionospio (Polychaeta). PhD thesis, University of Stockholm, 32 pp.

    Sigvaldadóttir, E. (1998) Cladistic analysis and classification of Prionospio and related genera (Polychaeta, Spionidae). Zoology Scripta, 27, 175–187.

    Sigvaldadóttir, E. & Mackie, A.S.Y. (1993) Prionospio steenstrupi, P. fallax and P. dubia (Polychaeta, Spionidae): re-evaluation of identity and status. Sarsia, 78, 203–219.

    Simboura, N. & Nicolaidou, A. (2001) The Polychaetes (Annelida, Polychaeta) of Greece: Checklist, distribution and ecological characteristics. Monographs on Marine Sciences, 4, 114 pp.

    Söderström, A. (1920) Studien über die Polychaeten familie Spionidae. PhD thesis, Uppsala Universitet, 288 pp.

    Tebble, N. (1959) On a collection of polychaetes from the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Bulletin of Resolution Council Israel (Zoology), B8, 9–30.

    Uysal, Z. & Murina, G.V.V. (2005) Monthly changes in the composition and abundance of meroplankton and pelagic polychaetes of the Cilician basin shelf waters (eastern Mediterranean). Israel Journal of Zoology, 51, 219–236.

    Wilson, R. S. (1990) Prionospio and Paraprionospio (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from southern Australia. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria, 50, 243–274.

    Wu, B.L. & M. Chen. (1964) A new species of polychaete worm of the family Spionidae from Sisha Islands, with a review of the genus Prionospio Malmgren, 1867. Acta Zoologica Sinica, 161(1):54–60. In Chinese with English summary.

    Zhou J. & Li, XZ. (2009) Report of Prionospio complex (Annelida: Polychaeta: Spionidae) from China′s waters, with description of a new species, Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 28, 116–127.