Species accounts

No common name

Convoluta roscoffensis

FAMILY Convolutidae

TAXONOMY

Convoluta roscoffensis Graff, 1891.

OTHER COMMON

NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Individuals of Convoluta roscoffensis are oval wormlike creatures that may be as much as 0.59 in (15 mm) long and have a characteristic green color from the inclusion of numerous individuals of the photosynthetic alga Tetraselmis convolu-tae in their tissues. There may be as

Convoiuta roscoffensis

many as 25,000 individual algae living within an individual of

C. roscoffensis.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern coast of the English Channel. HABITAT

Shallow marine sediments and tidal pools. BEHAVIOR

Adult individuals of C. roscoffensis congregate in temporary tidal pools, swarming near the water surface to allow maximal photosynthesis to take place in their onboard alga. These acoels may be present in the summer in such numbers that they turn the water green. When the tide returns, the acoels are swept back out to sea.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Juvenile individuals of C. roscoffensis take in but do not digest individuals of the alga Tetraselmis convolutae. At maturity, the pharynx and mouth disappear while the alga distributes itself throughout the worm's body. The worm is then entirely dependent upon the alga for its nourishment. Tetraselmis supplies the acoel with sugars and oxygen while the acoel donates nitrogen wastes to the alga.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Reproduces sexually by mating between male and female individuals (dermal impregnation). The eggs are fertilized internally and then released.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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