Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

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Several adults of Nemertopsis bivittata. Typical adult size is 9 cm. Photo courtesy of: Newman & Flowers, Smithsonian Institution (NMNH).

Species Name: Nemertopsis bivittata
Common Name: None
Synonymy: None
  1. TAXONOMY

    Kingdom Phylum/Division Class: Order: Family: Genus:
    Animalia Nemertea Enopla Hoplonemertea Amphiporidae Nemertopsis

    Species Description

    Nemertopsis bivittata is an armed (stylet-bearing) nemertean that achieves an adult size of approximately 15 cm (6 inches). Body color is generally brown to olive, with a single white stripe mid-dorsally. There are 4 eyespots on the head. This predatory worm is common in mussel beds where it typically feeds on crustaceans and perhaps, other worms.

  2. HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION

    IRL Distribution

    This species is known to occur from Ft. Pierce Inlet south to Miami.

  3. LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY

    Age, Size, Lifespan

    Typical adult size of Nemertopsis bivittata is 9 cm.

    Abundance

    Adults of this species are considered common in the Indian River Lagoon.

    Reproduction

    Reproductive seasonality for Nemertopsis bivittata typically begins in March and probably ends in May. N. bivittata is gonochoristic with external outcross fertilization.

    Embryology

    N. bivittata has direct development.

  4. PHYSICAL TOLERANCES

    No information is available at this time

  5. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY

    Larval Nemertopsis bivittata are possibly both lecithotrophic and planktotrophic. Predatory juveniles and adults of this species probably feed on crustaceans and perhaps vermetids.

    Habitat

    This species is found primarily in the intertidal zone.

  6. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    No information is available at this time

  7. REFERENCES

    Corrêa DD. 1961. Nemerteans from Florida and Virgin Islands. Bull Mar Sci 11: 1-44.

    Gonzalez-Cueto J, Quiroga S, Norenburg J. 2014. A shore-based preliminary survey of marine ribbon worms (Nemertea) from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. ZooKeys 439: 83.

    Martindale MQ, Henry JQ. 1995. Modifications of cell fate specification in equal-cleaving nemertean embryos: alternate patterns of spiralian development. Development 121: 3175-3185.

Report by: J. Dineen, Smithsonian Marine Station
with thanks to L. Newman
Submit additional information, photos or comments to:
irl_webmaster@si.edu
Page last updated: July 25, 2001

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