Dodecaceria Örsted, 1843

Blake, James A. & Dean, Harlan K., 2019, New Species of Cirratulidae (Annelida, Polychaeta) from the Caribbean Sea, Zootaxa 4671 (3), pp. 301-338 : 329-330

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Dodecaceria Örsted, 1843


Genus Dodecaceria Örsted, 1843

Type species: Dodecaceria concharum Örsted, 1843 , by monotypy

Synonym: Zeppelina Vaillant, 1890

Type species: Ctenodrilus monostylos Zeppelin, 1883 , by original designation. Fide George & Petersen (1991).

Diagnosis. Prostomium blunt or rounded on anterior margin, forming hood over mouth. Peristomium long, achaetous, with a pair of thick, grooved dorso-lateral tentacles at junction with setiger 1. One to several pairs of branchial filaments extending over 1 to few anterior segments. Setae include simple capillaries and stout, acicular hooks that are either simple, chisel-shaped, spoon-shaped, or with subapical serrations.

Remarks. Dodecaceria species are unusual among cirratulids in having complex life cycles involving asexual fragmentation as well as sexual reproduction ( Petersen 1999; Blake & Magalhães 2019). The alternation of asexual and sexual reproductive modes and the morphologies during the different modes has led to differing opinions and considerable confusion regarding the names and validity of what are often relatively common species. For example, George & Petersen (1991) determined that species of the genus Zeppelina were based on regenerating or asexually reproducing specimens of other genera, mostly Dodecaceria .

Specimens of Dodecaceria are difficult to work with because they typically need to be extracted from burrows in shells or calcareous rock where they live. Because they are able to extend both their anterior and posterior ends from the burrow opening, preserved specimens are often preserved in a U-shaped form and as such tend to fragment when manipulated. In addition, the tentacles and branchiae, which are concentrated on anterior segments, are typically thick and firmly attached, and do not readily break away with handling as with the sediment-dwelling bitentaculate cirratulids. Because most specimens are found intact with branchiae and tentacles that obscure the pre-setiger region, the anterior morphology is difficult to study unless these filaments are removed. As in the bitentaculate genera, the nature of the peristomium, origin of the tentacles, and placement of the first branchiae are important systematic characters.

To date, twenty species, based largely on the works of Gibson (1978), George & Petersen (1991), and Petersen (1999), are currently recognized ( Blake & Magalhães 2019). Dean (2012) recorded four species of Dodecaceria from Caribbean waters, but these were identified with names of species known from other parts of the world and are thus doubtful. The only species of Dodecaceria actually described from the Caribbean region are D. diceria Hartman, 1951 from the Florida Keys and D. carolinae Aguilar-Camacho & Salazar-Vallejo, 2011 from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. In the present study, two new species have been identified from the Carib 1 collections from shallow-water calcareous habitats off Panama.