Platynereis australis

Platynereis australis (Schmarda, 1861)

Languages: English



Reproduction. Metamorphosis to distinct male and female heteronereids free-swimming at night. Swarming occurs over an extended period of late autumn to summer at Wellington, New Zealand.
Habitat. Intertidal to shallow subtidal in sand and sandy mud substrates. A tough, stringy flexible tube is formed out of detritus and secretions.
Distribution. New Zealand mainland islands and Chatham Islands. Populations further south than about 47 degrees may occur, but are yet to be proven to be present.

Author(s): Read, Geoff
Rights holder(s): Read, Geoff


Platynereis australis was based on a single metamorphosed female collected from Auckland Harbour, New Zealand (about 37 degrees South) by Schmarda, and has since been widely reported, apparently occurring extensively across the Subantarctic. These reports need re-evaluation since Read's (2007) more circumscribed redescription.

Diagnosis: Secondary-tooth-tipped homogomph falcigers in juveniles, with replacement ceasing when about 50 chaetigers developed; homogomph falcigers absent in adults. Male heteronereid 2-part, 27 (26–28) prenatatory segments, pygidial papillae structure a complex rosette. Female heteronereid 3-part, 33 (32–34) prenatatory segments, eggs white to pale golden-yellow. Benthic atoke dark green anteriorly with some brown pigment on blunt thickened lobes of chaetiger 5–11, on prostomium, and oral proboscis ring.

Author(s): Read, Geoff
Rights holder(s): Read, Geoff


Read, G. B. (2007).  Taxonomy of sympatric species of New Zealand Platynereis, with description of three new species additional to P. australis (Schmarda) (Annelida: Polychaeta: Nereididae). Zootaxa. 1558, 1-28. Abstract
Schmarda, L. K. (1861).  Neue wirbellose Thiere beobachtet und gesammelt auf einer Reise um die Erdr [sic] 1853 bis 1857 von Ludwig K. Schmarda. Erster Band. Turbellarien, Rotatorien und Anneliden. Zweite Hälfte.. 164. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.