Hesione harrisae,

Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I., 2018, Revision of Hesione Savigny in Lamarck, 1818 (Annelida, Errantia, Hesionidae), Zoosystema 40 (12), pp. 227-325: 257-259

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5252/zoosystema2018v40a12

publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Hesione harrisae

n. sp.

Hesione harrisae  n. sp.

( Fig. 17View FIG)


TYPE MATERIAL. — Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico. Holotype, LACM 8631View Materials, Mayaguez, Cabo Rojo Light , 20.I.1946, W. G. Hewatt coll. 

ETYMOLOGY. — This species is named after Leslie Harris, Collection Manager of the Allan Hancock Polychaete Collection, in the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, in recognition of her knowledge of polychaetes in general, and because of her longlasting and enthusiastic support to our research requests. The name is a noun in genitive ( ICZN 1999: art. 31.1.2).

DISTRIBUTION. — Only known from the type locality in Puerto Rico, Caribbean Sea .

DIAGNOSIS. — Hesione  with prostomium laterally curved; parapodia with dorsal cirri basally cylindrical, dorsal cirrophore twice as long as wide; larger acicula blackish; acicular lobe single, tapered; neurochaetal blades unidentate, 6-8 times as long as wide; guards approaching distal tooth.


Holotype, LACM 8631, complete, subcylindrical, tapered posteriorly, without pigmentation ( Fig. 17AView FIG) in ethanol; several dorsal or ventral cirri lost, most neurochaetal blades lost; right parapodia of chaetigers 5 and 6, and left parapodium of chaetiger 11 removed (6 + 11 in vial). Body straight, 30 mm long, 3 mm wide. Prostomium as wide as long, anterior margin truncate with a shallow depression, lateral margins rounded, slightly expanded posteriorly ( Fig. 17BView FIG), posterior margin deeply cleft about as 1/3 prostomial length (reaching level of posterior eyes), lon- gitudinal depression indistinct. Antennae minute, rounded, about as long as wide, 1/3 as long as interocular distance. Eyes feebly pigmented, anterior eyes darker, twice as large as, and more separated than posterior eyes.

Tentacular cirri damaged, twisted. Lateral cushions slightly projected, without distinctive divisions in anterior chaetigers, in posterior ones barely separated into two sections, surface smooth.

Parapodia with chaetal lobes wider than high, truncate ( Fig. 17CView FIG); dorsal cirri with cirrophores twice as long as wide; cirrostyle cylindrical, smooth basally, articulated medially and distally, as long as body width (details undefined, tips eroded or broken). Ventral cirri smooth, surpassing chaetal lobe.

Neuraciculae blackish, larger one markedly thicker and darker than smaller one. Acicular lobe single, tapered, long, about 10 times longer than lower, rounded tine; upper tine as long as chaetal bundle width ( Fig. 17CView FIG [inset]).

Neurochaetae about 30 per bundle, blades unidentate (sometimes a tiny subdistal tooth present), blades at a certain angle from handles, decreasing in size ventrally, 6-8 times as long as wide, each with a distal tooth, guards often broken, if entire, approaching distal tooth ( Fig. 17D, EView FIG).

Posterior region tapered into a blunt cone ( Fig. 17FView FIG); pygidium swollen (now collapsed), integument slightly eroded, anus with 6 blunt papillae.

Pharynx everted, with three distinctive rings of similar length, margin smooth, slightly eroded; dorsal papillae rounded, about as long as wide. Oocytes about 100 µm in diameter.


Hesione harrisae  n. sp. could be confused with H. praetexta Ehlers, 1887  , reinstated (see below), another Grand Caribbean species because both have markedly different acicular lobes, and thin, long neurochaetal blades. However, in H. harrisae  n. sp. the upper acicular lobe is at least 5 times as long as the lower one, and its neurochaetal blades are mostly unidentate, whereas in H. praetexta  the upper acicular lobe is about 3 times longer, and the neurochaetal blades are bidentate. Further, H. harrisae  n. sp. was identified as H. praetexta  because both have a markedly longer acicular lobe, but in H. praetexta  blades are bidentate, whereas in H. harrisae  n. sp. they are unidentate.

As indicated in the key below, there is another species with unidentate neurochaetal blades: H. osbornae  n. sp. (see below). However, there are two main differences between these two species: in H. harrisae  n. sp. the neurochaetal blades are 6-8 times as long as wide, and their guards reach distal teeth, whereas in H. osbornae  n. sp. neurochaetal blades are about 15 times as long as wide, and guards surpass distal teeth.