Hawaiian acorn worm

Ptychodera flava

ORDER

No order designation

FAMILY Ptychoderidae

TAXONOMY

Ptychodera flava Eschscholtz, 1825.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The adult is a yellowish brown animal with a small cone-shaped proboscis, short collar, and long trunk.

DISTRIBUTION

Pacific Ocean, particularly near Hawaii and Japan. HABITAT

Coastal marine waters. BEHAVIOR

Spawning times are related to sea water temperatures. In Hawaii, these acorn worms spawn in late November to early December, usually around 6 P.M. or dusk.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

The diet of Ptychodera flava consists of organic food particles. REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Fertilization, which is external, occurs when females release mucus-bound eggs into the water, and the males respond by releasing sperm. Fertilization occurs in the sea water. The eggs, which measure about 0.00433-0.00472 in (110-20 pm) in diameter, hatch into tornaria larvae in about two days. Tornaria larvae have a keyhole shape with a sphere above a broadened bell-shaped bottom. Two eyespots are present on the dorsal (upper) surface.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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