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Proceraea janetae sp nov (Annelida, Syllidae, Autolytinae), a scleractinian coral feeder from Grand Cayman Island

Journal article
Authors D. Martin
J. Gil
C. Abgarian
E. Evans
E. M. Turner
Arne Nygren
Published in Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Volume 95
Issue 4
Pages 703-712
ISSN 0025-3154
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 703-712
Language en
Keywords Proceraea, Autolytinae, Syllidae, Polychaeta, feeding behaviour, scleractinian coral, Grand Cayman, HERMODICE-CARUNCULATA PALLAS, POLYCHAETA SYLLIDAE, HAPLOSYLLIS, POLYCHAETA, REVISION, HYDROZOA, SYLLINAE, SEA, REPRODUCTION, GORGONIANS, PHYLOGENY, Marine & Freshwater Biology
Subject categories Marine ecology


We have found a new species of Autolytinae (Annelida, Syllidae), Proceraea janetae, feeding on the scleractinian coral Montastrea cavernosa in coral reefs surrounding the Grand Cayman Island (Cayman Islands, British West Indies). The new species has a characteristic combination of transversal brown markings on the segmental margins and diffuse white mid-dorsal transverse bars, together with a diffuse white mid-dorsal longitudinal band. Antennae are brown, tentacular cirri are pale, the first dorsal cirri are white with pale base; the second dorsal cirri are pale, and the remaining dorsal cirri are alternately long, bright yellow-orange with brownish tips and short, entirely brown. The trepan has 18 tricuspid teeth in one ring. There are 9 teeth with all cuspids equally long and 9 with a longer median cuspid, arranged in an alternating pattern. We describe and illustrate the feeding behaviour of the new species, which appears to be closer to parasitism rather than to specialized predation. Proceraea janetae sp. nov. is the second polychaete, and the first syllid, known to feed on scleractinian corals.

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