Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Coral reef inhabiting tubeworms (Polychaeta: Serpulidae) from Enewetak, Kwajalein, Rongelap and Utirik Atolls, Marshall Islands

Julie H. Bailey-Brocka1a2 c1, Wagner F. Magalhãesa1a2 and Richard E. Brocka2

a1 Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2538 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA

a2 Water Resources Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2540 Dole Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA


The coral reef inhabiting tubeworms from the Marshall Islands have been studied by few authors mainly by samplings in Enewetak Atoll. We report several new records of serpuline and spirorbine tubeworms from Enewetak Atoll as well as from Kwajalein, Utirik and Rongelap Atolls. Twenty-one species of Serpulinae and seven species of Spirorbinae are described and illustrated with line drawings, colour and/or scanning electron microscopy photographs. Neodexiospira turrita nom. nov. is proposed to replace Neodexiospira preacuta. Enewetak Atoll still represents the most species-rich atoll in the Marshall Islands but this is most likely the result of a greater sampling effort in this atoll for the last few decades.

(Received May 26 2011)

(Accepted October 25 2011)

(Online publication February 06 2012)