Virchowia clavata Langerhans, 1879

Çinar, Melih Ertan & Gambi, Maria Cristina, 2005, Cognetti’s syllid collection (Polychaeta: Syllidae) deposited at the Museum of the Stazione Zoologica ‘‘ Anton Dohrn’ ’ (Naples, Italy), with descriptions of two new species of Autolytus, Journal of Natural History 39 (10), pp. 725-762: 745-747

publication ID 10.1080/00222930400001327

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scientific name

Virchowia clavata Langerhans, 1879


Virchowia clavata Langerhans, 1879  

( Figure 10 View Figure 10 )

Virchowia clavata Langerhans 1879, p 582   –583, Figure 31; Fauvel 1923, p 324 –325, Figure 125; Cognetti 1957, p 75.

Material examined

SZN-POL35, one specimen, Station 3, Secca coralligenous substrata, 40 m, coll. Cognetti.

delle Gajola, 10 January 1954, on


Specimen complete, 2.35 mm long, 0.16 mm wide, H+ 1050.85 mm, for 35 chaetigers, yellowish with irregular black speckles on body. Prostomium with two pairs of eyes, overlapping on either side; anterior ones larger, with lenses; one pair of ocular specks ( Figure 10A View Figure 10 ). Median antenna emerging at middle of prostomium, six times longer than prostomium; lateral ones from anterior margin of prostomium. Nuchal epaulettes rounded, covered with dense, long cilia, extending beyond prostomium. Peristomium with two pairs of tentacular cirri; dorsal ones longer. Dorsal cirri alternating short and long; longer ones with black speckles. On ventral side of each parapodium, a ciliated ridge present ( Figure 10A View Figure 10 ). Anterior and posterior parapodia with three falcigers and one simple chaeta; falcigers bidentate; distal and proximal teeth somewhat equal; blades ca 5 Mm long ( Figure 10B View Figure 10 ). Solitary dorsal simple chaeta expanded distally, with a tip accompanied by one long and five short spines ( Figure 10C View Figure 10 ). Each parapodium with one acicula, tapering. Proventricle 0.13 mm long, 0.10 mm wide, through three segments, with 30 muscle cell rows. Pharynx long, with three sinuations; trepan with short, equal teeth; number of teeth could not be counted due to contraction of tip of pharynx. Pygidium somewhat triangular, with one pair of short anal cirri ( Figure 10D View Figure 10 ).


Eastern Atlantic—Madeira ( Langerhans 1879) and western Mediterranean— Algeria ( Fauvel 1923), Gulf of Naples ( Cognetti 1957), Spain (Sardá 1988).

Brania pusilla (Dujardin, 1839)  

Grubea pusilla: Fauvel 1923, p 299   , Figure 115a–f; Cognetti 1957, p 52

Brania pusilla: Ben-Eliahu 1977a, p 65   ; Campoy 1982, p 248, Figure 14; San Martín 1984, p 181, Figure 38.

Material examined

SZN-POL12, one specimen, Station 1, Lago Fusaro, 21 January 1955, on algae, 0–1 m, coll. Cognetti.


Specimen complete, 2 mm long, 0.15 mm wide, H+ 1050.98 mm, for 21 chaetigers, with a total of 16 embryos of four chaetigers attaching to bases of parapodia after chaetiger 16; 0.25 mm long, 0.06 mm wide. Falcigers numbering eight on anterior parapodia, five on posterior ones; blades unidentate with a subdistal long spine, 10–40 Mm long on anterior parapodia and 10–35 Mm long on posterior parapodia. Proventricle 0.18 mm long, 0.13 mm wide, through two segments, with 26 muscle cell rows. Pharynx occupying ca four segments, with a pharyngeal tooth; coarse (50 Mm long), triangular, sharp.


Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indian Ocean (San Martín 1984).

Exogone (Exogone) dispar (Webster, 1879)  

Exogone rostrata: Cognetti 1957   (in part), p 60 (non Naville 1933).

Exogone dispar: Campoy 1982, p 290   , Figure 21; San Martín 1984, p 221, Figure 52.

Material examined

SZN-POL11, one specimen, Station 3, Secca della Gajola, on coralligenous substrate, 40 m, coll. Cognetti.  


Specimen complete, 3.35 mm long, 0.14 mm wide, H+ 1050.84 mm, for 34 chaetigers. Median antennae longer than lateral ones, expanded distally, reaching tip of palps. Dorsal cirri ovoid, present on all chaetigers. Pseudospinigers numbering one or two, bifid, with a blade 27.5 Mm long on anterior parapodia and 20 Mm long on posterior parapodia. Falcigers numbering eight on anterior parapodia, four on posterior ones, bidentate; blades 7.5 Mm and 5 Mm long on anterior and posterior parapodia, respectively. Dorsal simple chaeta from chaetiger 1, serrated subdistally, pointed distally. Proventricle 0.18 mm long, 0.09 mm wide, occupying 2.5 segments, with 28 muscle cell rows. Pharynx through six segments, with a pharyngeal tooth at opening of pharynx.


Mediterranean, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (San Martín 1984).














Virchowia clavata Langerhans, 1879

Çinar, Melih Ertan & Gambi, Maria Cristina 2005

Exogone dispar:

Campoy A 1982: 290

Brania pusilla:

Campoy A 1982: 248
Ben-Eliahu MN 1977: 65

Grubea pusilla:

Cognetti G 1957: 52
Fauvel P 1923: 299

Virchowia clavata

Cognetti G 1957: 75
Fauvel P 1923: 324
Langerhans P 1879: 582