No common name

Nipponnemertes pulcher

ORDER

Hoplonemertea FAMILY

Cratenemertidae TAXONOMY

Nemertespulchra Johnston, 1837, England.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Up to 4 in (10 cm) long and 0.04-0.2 in (1-5 mm) broad; rather stout, somewhat dorso-ventrally compressed, body gradually tapering posteriorly to the bluntly pointed tail. Distinct head like a rounded triangle or shield, with two pairs of cephalic furrows and numerous eyes irregularly distributed near the lateral cephalic margins; number of eyes

Nipponnemertes pulcher increase with age, up to 70-80 in specimens 1.5-1.9 in (4-5 cm). Dorsally brown, red, or pink, but lateral and ventral surfaces always much lighter. Color affected by age, degree of sexual maturation, and habitat.

DISTRIBUTION

Reported from east coast of North America, Greenland, Faroe Islands, the White Sea, and northern Europe from the Atlantic coast of France to Scandinavia, and from Chile and many parts of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic areas.

HABITAT

Marine, sublittoral among corallines or on coarser sediments such as sand, gravel, or shelly debris at depths down to 787 ft (240 m); also on muddy or stony bottoms down to 1,870 ft (570 m).

BEHAVIOR Nothing is known.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Known to feed on crustaceans, Haploops spp. and Corophium vo-lutator. Feeding rate measured to one prey per every fifth day (in laboratory conditions).

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Dioecious, external fertilization. Swim above bottom surface by undulating movements when releasing their gametes.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

Nipponnemertes pulcher

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