As a member of
Family Eunicidae (a
large family), this
species has few if any segments longer than wide, the notosetae
do not extend nearly to the midline, the prostomium
does not form an elongated caruncle which extends posteriorly over
segments, The head (prostomium)
has a pair of stout, globular prostomial
which are not differentiated
into two segmentlike units. The prostomium
has 3 or 5 prostomial
antennae but does not have a cluster of tentacles around the
The proboscis cannot be everted. The pharynx
has a pair of black ventral mandibles
and 2 or more rows of black dorsal teeth, two of which are elongated
can be used as pincers. The peristomium
usually has tentacular
cirri. Eunicids are usually brightly colored. Eunice
valens has 5 prostomial
antennae which have only faint (not strongly indented) annular
(photo). A pair of
dark dorsal eyes also is also
found on the prostomium.
A short, dorsal pair of tentacular
cirri is found on the peristomium
(photo). The first
gills are on setiger
3, and are attached to the dorsal edge of the parapodium
Each segment has up to 16 gill filaments on each side. The
are short on anterior segments (photo)
longer and overlap much of the dorsal part of the body farther back on
the body (photo).
It has small yellow
hooded hooks ventral to the aciculae.
The dorsal surface of the body is purplish red and may be iridescent,
often has white stripes or patches, especially the distinctive band
the head. The ventral surface is lighter. Length up
valens (Chamberlin, 1919)
Common name(s): Iridescent tubeworm, white-banded bobbit worm
valens, found intertidally
in Padilla Bay by Sara Goodwin. Total length about 15 cm.
|(Photo by: Dave
Cowles, July 2009)
How to Distinguish from
aphroditois has gills first appearing on setiger 5-7 and
ventral to the aciculae
are black. The prostomial
antennae have well-indented annular rings. The Kobe bobbit
kobiensis, is very similar to E.
valens but it is not known if E.
kobiensis occurs in our area.
Alaska to central
Low intertidal to
Intertidal, usually in
tubes under rocks.
Although this is an "errant" (motile) polychaete, it builds a
tube which has adhering pebbles, usually under boulders. This
is omnivorous, and ventures outside its tube to eat algae as well as
Reproduction in the Washington area takes place during spring
During reproduction, the rear portion of the body of a number
species of Eunice
off as an independent, gamete-bearing individual called an epitoke
which swims through the water releasing the gametes, while the anterior
portion of the worm remains on the bottom. However, in this
the adults do not become anatomically specialized during
Females release yellow eggs about 1/3 mm in diameter.
Eunicids are the only polychaetes eaten regularly by humans
viridis in Samoa
and Fiji). The palolo worm has an epitoke
which swarms during the last quarter of the moon and the lowest tides
October and November. Islanders gather the swarming epitokes
This family builds only fragile parchment tubes if any.
and Hanby, 2005
and O'Clair, 1998
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
This view of the head shows the 5 prostomial
antennae with annular markings, plus the two peristomial
This view shows that the gills start close behind the head, on setiger
This dorsal view of the midregion of the body shows the gills and parapodia.
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2009): Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)