Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

The genus Boccardia (Polychaeta: Spionidae) associated with mollusc shells on the south coast of South Africa

C.A. Simona1 p1 c1, T.M. Worsfolda2, L. Langea1 and J. Sterleya1

a1 Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa

a2 Unicomarine, 7 Diamond Centre, Works Road, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 1LW, UK

Abstract

Three species of Boccardia (B. polybranchia, B. pseudonatrix and B. proboscidea) were associated with mollusc shells on the south and south-east coasts of South Africa. Boccardia polybranchia was widely distributed along the coast and falls within the known distribution range of this species. Comparisons with material from other, international, locations showed that some specimens have been misidentified. No characters could be found to characterize distinct species for different regions within the range of B. polybranchia, as currently recognized. Boccardia pseudonatrix was found only at the most eastern site, increasing its known distribution range. Boccardia proboscidea, a non-indigenous species, was found only on abalone farms and was most abundant in the west.

(Received February 16 2009)

(Accepted April 03 2009)

(Online publication August 14 2009)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: C.A. Simon, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa email: csimon@sun.ac.za

p1 Present address: Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa