Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2022-01-19

Two new Scolelepis species (Annelida: Spionidae) from the Yellow Sea in Korea

Department of Biological Sciences, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea
Department of Biological Sciences, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea
Annelida Parascolelepis polychaete morphology molecular analysis taxonomy Korean waters


Two new spionid polychaetes of the genus Scolelepis from the intertidal habitats of the Yellow Sea in Korea are described and illustrated. Scolelepis (Parascolelepis) anterobranchiata sp. nov. is characterized by a combination of the following characteristic: palps with smooth globular expansions at the basal part, branchiae appearing in the anterior part of the body, absence of notochaetae in chaetiger 1, notopodial postchaetal lamellae partially fused with branchiae in anterior chaetigers, and neuropodial hooded hooks appearing from chaetigers 18–19 with two pairs of teeth surmounting a well-developed main fang. Scolelepis (Scolelepis) rubra sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by the following characteristics: reddish-pink body, presence of notochaetae in chaetiger 1, branchiae approximately twice as long as notopodial postchaetal lamellae, neuropodial bidentate hooded hooks usually appearing from chaetigers 26–31, and presence of notopodial hooded hooks in posterior chaetigers. Based on molecular data, the sequences of the two new species showed relatively large genetic distances from other Scolelepis species in COI (15.8–19.5%) and 16S rDNA (4.9–15.8%). Morphological variability of prostomial shape in the genus Scolelepis is discussed for the first time.



  1. Abdul, G., Zhou, H., Syed, B.H.S., Muhammad, M.K., Tushar, R.P., Maqsood, A.S., Mohamad, T.K., Raza, H., Jiang, Q.Q. & Ali, M. (2018) A study on polychaetes in the yellow sea and Bohai Sea: Biodiversity perspective. International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies, 6, 354–363.
    Abe, H. & Sato-Okoshi, W. (2021) Molecular identification and larval morphology of spionid polychaetes (Annelida, Spionidae) from northeastern Japan. ZooKeys, 1015, 1–86.
    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.
    Blake, J.A., Maciolek, N.J. & Meissner, K. (2019) Spionidae Grube, 1850. In: Purschke G., Schmidt-Rhaesa A., Böggemann M. & Westheide W. (Eds.), Annelida. Vol. 2. Pleistoannelida, Sedentaria II. De Gruyter, Berlin, pp. 1–102.
    Blainville, H. de. (1828) Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles. F.G. Levrault, Strasbourg, 47, 368–501.
    Carr, C.M., Hardy, S.M., Brown, T.M., Macdonald, T.A. & Hebert, P.D.N. (2011) A tri-oceanic perspective: DNA barcoding reveals geographic structure and cryptic diversity in Canadian polychaetes. PLoS ONE, 6, e22232.
    Choi, H.K. & Yoon, S.M. (2016) Scolelepis (Scolelepis) kudenovi (Polychaeta: Spionidae) new to Korea. Journal of Species Research, 5, 355–358.
    Dauer, D.M. (1983) Functional morphology and feeding behavior of Scolelepis squamata (Polychaeta: Spionidae). Marine Biology, 77, 279–285.
    Dauer, D.M. (1985) A new species of Scolelepis (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from Lizard Island, Australia. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 98, 678–681.
    Delgado-Blas, V.H. (2006) Partial revision of Scolelepis (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from the Grand Caribbean Region, with the description of two new species and a key to species recorded in the area. Contributions to Zoology, 75, 75–97.
    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, 37, 1–138.
    Gravier, C. (1905) Sur les Annélides polychètes de la Mer Rouge (Cirratuliens, Spionidiens, Ariciens). Bulletin du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, 11, 42–46.
    Grube, A.E. (1850) Die Familien der Anneliden. Archiv för Naturgeschichte, Berlin, 16 (1), 249–364.
    Hartmann-Schröder, G. (1962) Zur Kenntnis des Eulitorals der chilenischen Pazifikküste und der argentinischen Küste Südpatagoniens unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Polychchaeten und Ostracoden. Teil 2. Die Polychaeten des Eulitorals. Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen zoologischen Museum und Institut, 60 (Supplement Volume), 57–167.
    Hartmann-Schröder, G. (1980) Teil 4. Die Polychaeten der tropischen Nordwestküste Australiens (zwischen Port Samson im Norden und Exmouth im Süden). In: Hartmann-Schröder, G. & Hartman, G. (Eds.), Zur Kenntnis des Eulitorals der australischen Küsten unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Polychaeten und Ostracoden. Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut, 77, 41–110.
    Hartmann-Schröder, G. (1981) Zur Kenntnis des Eulitorals der australischen Küsten unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Polychaeten und Ostracoden. Teil 6: Die Polychaeten der tropisch-subtropischen Westküste Australiens (zwischen Exmouth im Norden und Cervantes im Süden). Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburger Zoologischen Museum und Institut, 78, 19–96.
    Hutchings, P.A. & Turvey, S.P. (1984) The Spionidae of South Australia (Annelida: Polychaeta). Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 108, 1–20.
    Kumar, S., Stecher, G., Li, M., Knyaz, C. & Tamura, K. (2018) MEGA X: Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis across computing platforms. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35, 1547–1549.
    Imajima, M. (1959) A description of a new species of the Spionidae (Polychaeta), Nerinides yamaguchii n. sp., with notes on its development. Journal of Hokkaido Gakugei University, 10, 155–164.
    Imajima, M. (1992) Spionidae (Annelida, Polychaeta) from Japan VIII. The genus Scolelepis. Bulletin of the National Science Museum, Tokyo, Series A (Zoology), 18, 1–34.
    Kessing, B., Croom, H., Martin, A., McIntosh, C., Owen McMillian, W. & Palumbi, S. (1989) The simple fool’s guide to PCR. University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 47 pp.
    Lee, G.H., Choi, H.K. & Yoon, S.M. (2018) Two new records of spionid polychaetes (Polychaeta: Spionidae) in Korean fauna. Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity, 34, 152–158.
    Lee, G.H. & Min, G. (2021) First Record of Scolelepis (Scolelepis) daphoinos (Annelida: Polychaeta: Spionidae) in South Korea. Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity, 37, 229–234.
    Lee, G.H., Lee H. & Min, G. (2021) DNA Barcoding of Scolelepis (Parascolelepis) papillosa (Annelida, Spionidae) in Korea, with Additional Taxonomic Notes. Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity, 37, 349–353.
    Lobo, J., Costa, P.M., Teixeira, M.A.L., Ferreira, M.S.G., Costa, M.H. & Costa, F.O. (2013) Enhanced primers for amplification of DNA barcodes from a broad range of marine metazoans. BMC Ecology, 13, 1–8.
    Maciolek, N.J. (1987) New species and records of Scolelepis (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from the East coast of North America, with a review of the subgenera. Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington, 7, 16–40.
    Meiβner, K. & Götting, M. (2015) Spionidae (Annelida: ‘Polychaeta’: Canalipalpata) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes. Zootaxa, 4019 (1), 378–413.
    Mincks, S.L., Dyal, P.L., Paterson, G.L.J., Smith, C.R. & Glover, A.G. (2009) A new species of Aurospio (Polychaeta, Spionidae) from the Antarctic shelf, with analysis of its ecology, reproductive biology and evolutionary history. Marine Ecology, 30, 181–197.
    Okuda, S. (1937) Spioniform polychaetes from Japan. Journal of the Faculty of Science Hokkaido Imperial University, Series 6, Zoology, 5, 217–254.
    Paik, E.I. (1982) Taxonomic studies on polychaetous annelids in Korea. Research Bulletin of the Hyosung Women’s University, 24, 745–913. [in Korean]
    Paik, E.I. (1989) Illustrated encyclopedia of fauna and flora of Korea. Vol. 31. Polychaeta. Ministry of Education, Seoul, 764 pp. [in Korean]
    Radashevsky, V.I. & Pankova, V.V. (2013) Shell-boring versus tube-dwelling: is the mode of life fixed or flexible? Two cases in spionid polychaetes (Annelida, Spionidae). Marine Biology, 160, 1619–1624.
    Radashevsky, V.I. (2012) Spionidae (Annelida) from shallow waters around the British Islands: an identification guide for the NMBAQC Scheme with an overview of spionid morphology and biology. Zootaxa, 3152 (1), 1–35.
    Sato-Okoshi, W. & Abe, H. (2013) Morphology and molecular analysis of the 18S rRNA gene of oyster shell borers, Polydora species (Polychaeta: Spionidae), from Japan and Australia. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 93, 1279–1286.
    Surugiu, V. (2016) On the taxonomic status of the European Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata (Polychaeta: Spionidae), with description of a new species from southern Europe. Zootaxa, 4161 (2), 151–176.
    Teramoto, W., Sato-Okoshi, W., Abe, H., Nishitani, G. & Endo, Y. (2013) Morphology, 18S rRNA gene sequence and life history of a new Polydora species (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from northeastern Japan. Aquatic Biology, 18, 31–45.
    Williams, J.D. (2007) New records and description of four new species of spionids (Annelida: Polychaeta: Spionidae) from the Philippines: the genera Dispio, Malacoceros, Polydora, and Scolelepis, with notes on palp ciliation patterns of the genus Scolelepis. Zootaxa, 1459 (1), 1–35.
    Williams, L.G., Karl, S.A., Rice, S. & Simon, C. (2017) Molecular identification of polydorid polychaetes (Annelida: Spionidae): is there a quick way to identify pest and alien species? African Zoology, 52, 105–118.
    Wu, B.L. & Chen, M. (1964) A new species of polychaete worm of the Family Spionidae from Chushan Archipelago, East China Sea. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 1, 195–198.
    Zhou, J. (2014) A new species of Scolelepis (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from Chinese seas. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 62, 90–495.
    Zhou, J., Ji, W.W. & Li, X.Z. (2009) A new species of Scolelepis (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from sandy beaches in China, with a review of Chinese Scolelepis species. Zootaxa, 2236 (1), 37–49.
    Zhou, H., Zhang, Z., Chen, H., Sun, R., Wang, H., Guo, L. & Pan, H. (2010) Integrating a DNA barcoding project with an ecological survey: a case study on temperate intertidal polychaete communities in Qingdao, China. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 28, 899–910.