Protula balboensis Monro, 1933b,

Bastida-Zavala, J. Rolando, Buelna, Alondra Sofía Rodríguez, León-González, Jesús Angel De, Camacho-Cruz, Karla Andrea & Carmona, 2016, New records of sabellids and serpulids (Polychaeta: Sabellidae, Serpulidae) from the Tropical Eastern Pacific, Zootaxa 4184 (3), pp. 401-457: 429-430

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Protula balboensis Monro, 1933b


Protula balboensis Monro, 1933b 

( Figures 7View FIGURE 7, 13View FIGURE 13 A –B)

Protula tubularia balboensis Monro, 1933b: 1088  –1090, Text-figure 30A –D. Type locality: Balboa , Pacific coast of Panamá, on rocks in tide-pools  . Taboga Island , Panamá and Gorgona Island, Colombia, on pier piles and in shore at low tide. 

Protula tubularia  (not Montagu, 1803).— Steinbeck & Ricketts 1941: 367 (Puerto Refugio, Ángel de la Guarda Island, Baja California)  ; Rioja 1942: 133 –134 (Acapulco, Guerrero, according to Rioja 1963: 222)  ; Rioja 1963: 220 –222 (Carmen Island, Baja California Sur; 111 m); Hernández-Alcántara et al. 2003: 9 (Carmen and Ángel de la Guarda Islands, Baja California Sur, checklist; the record from San Roque Island was a typing mistake). 

Portula balboensis  .— Zibrowius 1970: 17 –18, pl. 4 Figs 7–8View FIGURE 7View FIGURE 8 (Lixa Reef, Bahia, Brazil; 5 m). 

Protula tubularia balboensis  .— Kudenov 1975: 228 (Cholla Bay, Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, intertidal, rock); Kudenov 1980: 123 (same); Salazar-Vallejo 1989b: 200 (Mexican coasts, checklist); Salazar-Vallejo & Londoño-Mesa 2004: 55 (Tropical Eastern Pacific, checklist).

Protula balboensis  .— Laverde-Castillo 1986: 128 (Gorgona Island, Colombian Pacific); Salazar-Vallejo & Londoño-Mesa 2004: 55 (Tropical Eastern Pacific, checklist); Bastida-Zavala 2008: 37, fig. 8H (Baja California, Sonora and Guerrero; the record Puerto San Carlos , Baja California Sur, intertidal is incorrect); Bastida-Zavala 2009: 539, Figs 4View FIGURE 4 I, 5B (identification key for Tropical America); ten Hove & Kupriyanova 2009: 83 (worldwide serpulid checklist). 

Protula diomedeae  (not Benedict, 1887).— Bastida-Zavala & Salazar-Vallejo 2000a: 817, Fig. 7View FIGURE 7 a –g (Jururú Bay, Cuba).

Material examined. Four specimens.

Baja California: UANL 7894View Materials (Bahía de los Ángeles, main pier, on wood, 2 m, sta. 1: 28°56’52.9”N, 113°33’25.3”W, April 17, 2011, coll. JAL & ARB).GoogleMaps 

Michoacán: UMAR-Poly 798, 3 spec. (Faro de Bucerías, on sabellariid tubes, December 21, 1996, coll. SGM).

Atlantic side of Panamá: STRI (on pier of Smithsonian Institution station in Bocas del Toro, photo in vivo by Betel Martínez-Guerrero, August 14, 2008, coll. Leslie Harris). 

Habitat. Intertidal to subtidal (111 m, Rioja 1963, off Carmen Island). On sabellariid tubes, rocks (Bastida- Zavala 2008) and piers ( Monro 1933b). Occasionally part of fouling fauna. 

Distribution. Tropical Eastern Pacific, from Baja California Sur to Colombia ( Monro 1933b; Bastida-Zavala 2008). Also recorded from Brazil ( Zibrowius 1970), Florida ( Perkins 1998), Cuba (Bastida-Zavala & Salazar- Vallejo 2000a, as Protula diomedeae  ); it may be an exotic species in the Atlantic.

Remarks. Crossland (i n: Monro 1933b: 1090) mentioned some characters in living Protula balboensis  , describing well developed thoracic membranes, with a “large blotch of vermilion…” and a branchial crown with “green blood vessels and vermilion spots”; characters that also were observed by us in vivo in specimens collected in Bocas del Toro, Atlantic coast of Panamá ( Fig. 13View FIGURE 13 A) and Baja California Sur ( Fig. 13View FIGURE 13 B).

Benedict (1887) described Protula diomedeae  from off Cape Hatteras, in depths between 79 and 2,360 m, and with calcareous tubes attached to the substrate only by the base, while P. balboensis  is recorded mainly from shallow waters and the tube is attached to the substrate in almost its entire length. The specimen recorded by Bastida-Zavala & Salazar-Vallejo (2000a) from Cuba as P. diomedeae  , corresponds rather to P. balboensis  , because the radioles have the basal process characteristic for the species.

The presence of Protula balboensis  in the Tropical Western Atlantic may be a historic introduction as fouling on ships, since the taxon is only recorded from a few sites, some from ports or fouling plates: Jururú Bay, Cuba (collected in 1988), Lixa Reef (Abrolhos), Brazil (5 m, collected in 1962) ( Zibrowius 1970; Bastida-Zavala & Salazar-Vallejo 2000a), the northern of Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Florida (from fouling plates in ports, collected between 1999-2005, Bastida-Zavala et al., unpublished data), and Bocas del Toro, Panamá (this work).

The record of the temperate Protula atypha Bush, 1905  by Shepherd (1972) from Baja California Sur is doubtful and should be checked; Hernández-Alcántara et al. (2003: 9) list Treadwell’s (1914) record of P. a t y p ha erroneously from Mexican coasts, it is from Santa Catalina Island, Southern California.


Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon


Salahiddin University


Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute














Protula balboensis Monro, 1933b

Bastida-Zavala, J. Rolando, Buelna, Alondra Sofía Rodríguez, León-González, Jesús Angel De, Camacho-Cruz, Karla Andrea & Carmona 2016

Protula diomedeae

Bastida-Zavala 2000: 817

Protula balboensis

Hove 2009: 83
Salazar-Vallejo 2004: 55
Laverde-Castillo 1986: 128

Protula tubularia balboensis

Salazar-Vallejo 2004: 55
Salazar-Vallejo 1989: 200
Kudenov 1980: 123
Kudenov 1975: 228

Portula balboensis

Zibrowius 1970: 17

Protula tubularia balboensis

Monro 1933: 1088

Protula tubularia

Hernandez-Alcantara 2003: 9
Rioja 1963: 222
Rioja 1963: 220
Rioja 1942: 133
Steinbeck 1941: 367