“Chaetosphaerids”. Polychaeta, unknown families.


Size under dissecting microscope: ~200- 400µm, depending on type and number of chaetigers
Regular type: 280 – 400µm
Spiny type: 200 – 320µm
We have been referring to these larvae as “chaetosphaerids” because many of them bear a superficial resemblance to some spionid larvae. Nonetheless, we do not believe that they are necessarily spionids, nor that they are a homogeneous group. These larvae are common enough that it seems likely that they are vent species. Nonetheless, we have not been able to match them up with any known species, as they do not resemble the young juveniles of any polychaete we have seen. Attempts to resolve the identification using molecular methods are ongoing.
Pump EPR 1999-2000: Frequent
Pump EPR 2004: Common

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