Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

<em>Hydroides santaecrucis</em>

Hydroides santaecrucis


Regional Maps


Tube Worm, Plume Worm, Fan Worm, Christmas-tree Worm

Compiler and date details

October 2015 - ABRS

Jan 2011 - P. Hutchings & M. Yerman, Australian Museum, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

7 August 2003


Serpulids occur widely from tropical to polar latitudes and from the intertidal to the deep sea. They may form large colonies on intertidal rocks and structures such pier piles, for example Galeolaria caespitosa which is widespread in southern Australia. Other taxa are solitary, although always attached to hard substrates such as mollusc shells, the carapaces of decapod crustaceans, seagrasses, algae and jetsam. Serpulids are significant as fouling organisms, especially Hydroides elegans and spirorbines. It is reasonable to assume that all serpulids are suspension feeders, but there have been surprisingly few studies on feeding in the family.

Much of the literature recognises the Spirorbidae as a family separate from the Serpulidae. Spirorbids may be a a natural group, but recognising the taxon probably renders the Serpulidae paraphyletic (Rouse 2000) thus all are treated here as a single family.

Figures of 36 genera and 88 species were given by Beesley et al. (2000: App. 1) for representation of the family in Australian waters, and 80 genera and 400+ species worldwide. This database includes 62 species from 19 genera for Serpulinae, and 28 species from 15 genera for Spirorbinae.

See Rouse (2000) for detailed treatment of the family. Kupriyanova et al. (2023) conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the family using morphological and molecular analysis and proposed the revised classification presented here.



General features. Body shape vermiform; segments numerous (more than about 15); regionation present, comprising distinct thorax and abdomen; regions demarcated by inversion of parapodia. Thoracic membrane present. Faecal groove present. Pygidium simple ring or cone. Pygidial appendages absent.
Head & head structures. Head comprising a radiolar crown around mouth. Operculum present (usually). Eyes absent, or present; one pair, or multiple; situated on radiolar crown, or situated on peristomium (includes compound types). Palps absent. Nuchal organs absent. Peristomial ring single, with collar.
Pharynx & pharyngeal apparatus. Foregut without a distinct ventral or axial organ.
Body segments & parapodia. First segment chaetigerous. First chaetiger with notochaetae only. Parapodia biramous with prominent parapodial lobes; notopodial lobes represented by at least one chaetal lobe, or low lateral ridges (tori) (posteriorly); neuropodial lobes low ridges (tori), or represented by at least one chaetal lobe (posteriorly). Dorsal cirri absent. Ventral cirri absent. Branchiae absent.
Chaetae. Notochaetae present. Aciculae absent. Capillary chaetae hair-like, or sharply bent, or with subdistal spur; smooth, or hirsute-serrate. Spines absent. Hooks absent. Uncini present; with teeth in vertical series, teeth usually similar-sized (=pectinate); arranged in one or two rows.
Tube & burrow. Tube hard, impregnated with calcium carbonate (includes spiral forms; tubes may be embedded in coral and resemble a burrow).

The above description was generated from: 'C.J. Glasby & K. Fauchald (2002 onwards). POLiKEY. An information system for polychaete families and higher taxa: Version 1: September 2002.'
(See ABRS website: Online Resources: Polikey, for Version 2, released June 2003)


General References

Beesley, P.L., Ross, G.J.B. & Glasby, C.J. (eds) 2000. Polychaetes & Allies: The Southern Synthesis. Fauna of Australia Vol. 4A Polychaeta, Myzostomida, Pogonophora, Echiura, Sipuncula. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing Vol. 4 Part A xii 1-465 pp.

Chamberlin, R.V. 1919. Albatross Polychaeta (Rep. Sci. Res. Exp. Albatross). Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University 48: 1-514

Kupriyanova, E.K., Bastida-Zavala, R., Halt, M.N,., Lee, M.S.Y. & Rouse, G.W. 2008. Phylogeny of the Serpula-Crucigera-Hydroides clade (Serpulidae: Annelidae) using molecular and morphological data: implications for operculum evolution. Invertebrate Systematics 22: 425-437

Kupriyanova, E.K. ten Hove, H.A. & Rouse, G.W 2023. Phylogeny of Serpulidae (Annelida, Polychaeta) inferred from morphology and DNA sequences, with a new classification. Diversity 15(398): 1-24

Latreille, P.A. 1825. Familles Naturelles du Règne Animal, exposées succinctement et dans un ordre analytique, avec l'indication de leurs genres. Paris : J.-B. Baillière 570 pp.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundem classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii Vol. 1 10, 824 pp.

Pillai, T.G. 1960. Some marine and brackish-water serpulid polychaetes from Ceylon, including new genera and species. Ceylon Journal of Science 3: 1-40

Pillai, T.G. 1970. Studies on a collection of spirorbids from Ceylon, together with a critical review and revision of spirorbid systematics and an account of their phylogeny and zoogeography. Ceylon Journal of Science Biological Sciences 8: 100-172

Rioja, E. 1923. Estudio sistemático de las especies Ibéricas del suborden Sabelliformia. Trabajos Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales Madrid (Zoology) 48: 1-144

Rouse, G.W. 2000. Family Serpulidae. pp. 184-189 in Beesley, P.L., Ross, G.J.B. & Glasby, C.J. (eds). Polychaetes & Allies: The Southern Synthesis. Fauna of Australia Vol. 4A Polychaeta, Myzostomida, Pogonophora, Echiura, Sipuncula. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing Vol. 4 Part A xii 1-465 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
17-Oct-2023 ANNELIDA 31-Oct-2023 MODIFIED
15-Sep-2015 SERPULIDAE 14-Sep-2015 REVIEWED
12-May-2015 SERPULIDAE 05-May-2015 REVIEWED
17-Oct-2023 21-Jan-2011 MODIFIED
17-Oct-2023 03-Nov-2010 MODIFIED
17-Oct-2023 10-Sep-2010 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)