Synelmis harrisae, Salazar-Vallejo, 2003

Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I., 2003, Revision of Synelmis Chamberlin, 1919 (Annelida, Polychaeta, Pilargidae), Zoosystema 25 (1), pp. 17-42 : 30-32

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.5392022

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Synelmis harrisae

sp. nov.

Synelmis harrisae View in CoL n. sp.

( Figs 1F View FIG ; 8 View FIG )

Ancistrosyllis rigida View in CoL – Hartman 1947: 498-501, pl. 62, figs 1-7 (non Fauvel 1919a).

Synelmis albini View in CoL – Hartman 1968: 393-394, figs 1-5 (non Langerhans 1881).

TYPE MATERIAL. — Syntypes: La Jolla, California, shore, 2 syntypes ( LACM-AHF 2095 ) ; crevices in shale, low tide, 29.III.1938, 1 syntype ( LACM-AHF 3029 ) ; Melpomene Cove , Guadalupe Island, 28°52’15”N, 118°16’38”W, Mexico, dredge, 34- 36 fm, sandy bottom, 19.XII.1949, 3 syntypes ( LACM-AHF 1919-49 ) GoogleMaps ; El Descanso, Baja California, Mexico, shore, 1 syntype ( LACM-AHF 2097 ) ; Punta Morro , Baja California, Mexico, rocky intertidal, 15.II.1983, Gela & Núñez coll., 1 syntype (ECO- SUR-PILA-4) .

TYPE LOCALITY. — Southern California and Baja California, Mexico, including the offshore islands, in mixed bottoms in shallow water.

ETYMOLOGY. — This species in named in honor of Leslie H. Harris, for her work on California polychaetes and her generosity in helping me and other Mexican scientists.

OTHER MATERIAL EXAMINED. — Northeastern Pacific Ocean. White Cove, Santa Catalina Island, California, shore, R/ V Velero, stn 1363-41, 12.VII.1941, 1 specimen ( LACM-AHF). — Santa Catalina LO 3, 8/76, 1 damaged specimen regenerating its anterior end ( LACM-AHF). — Santa Catalina M4 8/76, 4 specimens and one anterior fragment ( LACM-AHF). — Santa Barbara Island , California (SBI), M1 8/76, 2 specimens ( LACM-AHF) ; SBI, LoI, 8/76, 1 specimen ( LACM-AHF) ; SBI, Mid 2, 8/76, 8 specimens ( LACM-AHF) ; SBI, mid 3 8/76, 2 posterior fragments. — San Clemente Island , L-2 10/76, 1 specimen ( LACM-AHF) ; M-3 10/76, 2 specimens, 1 damaged ( LACM-AHF) ; M-1 10/76, 4 twisted specimens (LACM-AHF).

DISTRIBUTION. — Southern California, USA and northern Baja California, Mexico, though it may be present along the California current ecosystem, in 0- 70 m.


Body filiform, variously pigmented from pale to dark red or purple due to Rose Bengal staining but some specimens regenerating their anterior end are uncolored or only slightly colored; pigment more intense on parapodial cirri and darker ventrally in paired glands. Specimens 2.2-17.5 mm long, 0.2-0.9 mm wide, with 29-90 setigers.

Prostomium rectangular with biarticulated palps well separated from each other, palpostyles rounded, massive, distally slightly constricted, and small ventral papillae emerging from the middle of the palp, difficult to see dorsally ( Fig. 8A View FIG ). Three similar fusiform antennae, laterals placed at middle of prostomium, median placed on posterior margin. Two well developed eyes, slightly medial and posterior to lateral antennae. From 21 specimens, 16 had two eyes well developed, five had one eye duplicated, four had one eye split into two or three eyespots but not arranged in a line, and in one specimen eyes could not be seen. Two pairs of tentacular cirri, the dorsal one slightly longer than ventral and about as long as dorsal cirri of setiger 1.

Parapodia with slender fusiform cirri, never thicker than setal lobe. Anterior setigers ( Fig. 8B View FIG ) with thin cirri, becoming slightly wider in medi- an segments ( Fig. 8C View FIG ). Dorsal cirri longer than ventral cirri throughout the body. Glandular areas restricted to paired midventral spots in posterior setigers. No interramal glands.

Notospines first present from setigers 10-16; variation in first occurrence due to regeneration of specimens is present, and one such specimen had spines from setiger 8. Notospines become more emergent in posterior setigers ( Fig. 8D View FIG ). Neurosetae include smooth capillaries, limbate setae, and one or two asymmetrical furcate setae per setal bundle ( Fig. 1F View FIG ).

Pygidium with two lateral anal cirri ( Fig. 8E View FIG ), as long as previous two asetigerous segments; anal cirri ventrolaterally placed, the right one is distally bifurcated in one specimen. Pharynx can be as long as 5-7 setigers.


On the basis of the specimens examined, Synelmis harrisae n. sp. was already found and studied by Hartman (1947) though she identified it as A. rigida and included A. gorgonensis as a synonym (see above). She regarded the differences between her specimens and the other described specimens (number of eyes and development of parapodial cirri) as of little importance. However, they are very stable and thus usable to set them apart. The first occurrence of notospines may be related to cropping of the anterior end and later regeneration; it alters the apparent origin of these structures. S. harrisae n. sp., S. albini and S. britayevi n. sp. are very similar; the latter is easily separated by the presence of the larger lateral glands while S. albini and S. harrisae n. sp. can be separated by the type of antennae, being cirriform in the former and fusiform in the latter.














Synelmis harrisae

Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I. 2003

Synelmis albini

HARTMAN O. 1968: 393

Ancistrosyllis rigida

HARTMAN O. 1947: 498
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