Bonellia viridis Rolando, 1821, Naples, Italy.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Weenie worm; French: Bonnellie, bonnelie verte; Spanish: Gusano marino verde; Danish: Igelwurm.
Female’s trunk ovoid to sausage formed, and about 5.9 in (15 cm) lengthy. Proboscis lengthy and bifurcate on the finish. When utterly prolonged it might probably attain 4.9 ft (1.5 m). Trunk and proboscis pale to darkish inexperienced, brought on by presence of a dermal pigment, bonellin. One pair of ventral chaetae. Males 0.039–0.11 in (1–Three mm) lengthy with a ciliated and planariformlike physique, with out pigment, proboscis, month, anus, or blood vascular system. Male’s physique occupied primarily by reproductive constructions, and the male is commonly discovered residing inside the nephridia (genital sac) of the feminine.
Northeastern Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean, Red Sea, and Indopacific.
Female doesn't make its personal burrow, however inhabits burrows excavated in gravelly bottoms or burrows with a number of exits in rocky substrata or in clefts in rocks. It may be present in depths from 33 to 328 ft (10–100 m). Quite a few commensals inhabit the burrow. Male lives within the genital sac or on the physique of the massive feminine.
Contraction of proboscis stem permits animal to transfer, and its bifurcate finish has highly effective cilia that assist in locomotion and feeding. Moves backwards and forwards inside burrow, in addition to out of it. Contractions of the feminine’s physique wall renew the oxygen provide within the burrow.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Detritus feeder; food consists of detritus, small animals, natural materials situated on the root of vegetation and patches of sand between small rocks. Extends the proboscis from the burrow and grazes on the encompassing substratum with its bifid terminal lobes. Cilia on the ventral facet of the proboscis transfer small particles and muscle groups decide up the bigger ones. Cilia and muscle groups switch the bolus blended with mucus to the mouth. All metabolic wants of male are provided by change with the feminine’s physique, indicating male has a parasitic mode of life.
S*xes are separate and fertilization happens within the genital sac, the place male usually lives. Larva is free swimming. Bonellin has an vital position within the willpower of intercourse; it's thought-about to be a masculinizing issue. If the larva settles on ocean ground, it develops right into a 3.9-in (10-cm) lengthy feminine. If the larva settles on a feminine’s physique (notably its proboscis), it develops right into a 0.039–0.078-in (1–2-mm) lengthy grownup male in 1–2 weeks. Male lives as a parasite and produces a prepared provide of sperm.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Specimens are generally used as laboratory animals. The pigment bonellin has been studied as an vital antibiotic. The substance has highly effective and deadly results on quite a few organisms.