Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Research Article

Polydorid species (Polychaeta: Spionidae) in south-western Australian waters with special reference to Polydora uncinata and Boccardia knoxi

Waka Sato-Okoshia1 c1, Kenji Okoshia2 and Jeremy Shawa3

a1 Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 981-8555, Japan

a2 Department of Biological Engineering, Ishinomaki Senshu University, Ishinomaki 986-8580, Japan

a3 School of Biological Science and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, Western Australia 6150, Australia


Eight species of polydorid polychaetes were found to inhabit mollusc shells from south-western Australian waters. Numerous individuals of Polydora uncinata were extracted for the first time from the shells of both land-based cultured abalone Haliotis laevigata and H. roei, as well as from natural subtidal H. roei and Chlamys australis. Shells of the oyster Saccostrea commercialis cultured in sea-based systems were infested by Boccardia knoxi which was first recorded in these waters. Polydora aura, Dipolydora giardi, D. armata, D. aciculata and Boccardia proboscidea were common among shells of various natural intertidal and subtidal molluscs. A small number of P. haswelli were extracted from their self-excavated burrows in shells of cultured oysters. Boccardia knoxi and D. aciculata were redescribed based on the newly collected materials. Polydora uncinata and B. knoxi exhibited similar larval development patterns (exolecithotrophy and adelphophagy), iteroparity and longer life span, suggesting a high reproductive potential. This study suggests that further monitoring of polydorid species is needed not only from the viewpoint of marine biology but also to survey the risk invasive species pose to commercially important molluscs in this region and worldwide.

(Received November 01 2006)

(Accepted September 21 2007)


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Waka Sato-Okoshi Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology Graduate School of Agricultural Science Tohoku University Sendai 981–8555 Japan email: