How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Podarkeopsis bervipalpa has 8 pairs of tentacular cirri. Micropodarke dubia and Kefersteinia cirrata have only 2 prostomial antennae..
Geographical Range: Japan, southern Alaska to Gulf of California (Mexico); Peru.
Depth Range: Intertidal and subtidal
Habitat: Free-living on muddy bottoms or commensal on the ambulacral grooves of seastars such as Patiria miniata. Less common seastar hosts include Luidia foliata, Pteraster tesselatus, and Oreaster occidentalis. It may also be found on moon snail shells occupied by hermit crabs.
is attracted to sea stars by chemoreception. Up to 20 can be
on a seastar host, and coexist peacefully with each other.
in the ambulacral groove or crawl over the oral surface. They
crawl onto another host if it is nearby, or can often be found on the
bottom without a host. Freeliving individuals do not seem interested
presented with a seastar host. The worms eat diatoms, harpactacoid
and other small benthic invertebrates. They can live in polluted water
low in oxygen but are most common in clean water. This
was found by Michael Kutzner when it exited a Mycale
adhaerens sponge from Padilla Bay.
Kozloff 1987, 1996
Lande, R. and D.J. Reish, 1968. Seasonal occurrence of the commensal polychaetous annelid Ophiodromus pugettensis on the starfish Patiria miniata. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 67: pp 104-111
Schaffer, P.L., 1979. The feeding biology of Podarke pugettensis (Polychaeta: Hesionidae). Biological Bulletin 156: pp 343-355
Pettibone, M.H., 1953. Some scale-bearing polychaetes of Puget Sound and adjacent waters. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA. 89 pp.
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
A closeup of the head. Note the prominent eyes, the
from the prostomium,
cirri from the first few segments, and the very long dorsal cirri
which extend from the parapodia.
A piece of debris is attached to one of the tentacular
cirri. Photo by Dave Cowles
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2010): Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)