Bottoms Up: Juvenile Terebellid Polychaetes Feeding in the Water Column
Levin, Lisa Ann
Greenblatt, Paul Richard
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Of the eighty-one families of polychaetes, seven are exclusively pelagic (Dales and Peter 1972), accounting for less than 2% of all polychaete species. Many polychaete families are represented in the plankton only as larval forms, while others contain a few holoplanktonic species (i.e., Polynoidae, Phyllodocidae). Most terebellid species are reported to be benthic as adults, entering the water column only as meroplanktonic larvae. In this note, we present the first quantitative observations of terebellid juveniles feeding in the plankton and summarize past records of post-metamorphic terebellids in the water column. We introduce the possibility that members of the genus Loimia may be partly pelagic.