Marphysa mossambica   (Peters,  1855) (Marine Worm)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Polychaeta

Size: Length 5-28 cm; width 4-5 mm.

Color: Dark black.

Body flat and elongated. Prostomium wider than long, with a deep anterior notch and 5 smooth occipital antennae. Parapodia of prebranchial setigers each with a small transverse fold-like presetal lobe, and a broadly rounded postsetal lobe; dorsal cirri long, stout, swollen basally and ventral cirri short, bluntly conical. Parapodia of branchial setigers each with a well developed presetal lobe having distal notch, and a triangular postsetal lobe. Branchiae commencing from setiger 15-30 in smaller specimens, 45-50 in larger forms, extending up to posterior end, with a maximum of 10 filaments. Setae include capillaries and pectinate setae only. Simple capillary setae in all feet with 1-2 comb setae in the ventral side; compound setae absent; stout acicula in yellow color with blunt tips seen both dorsally and ventrally in several feet.

Synonym (s)
Marphysa mossambica Fauvel, 1919
Marphysa mossambica Fauvel, 1932
Eunice mossambica Peters, 1855
(Objective synonym)
Marphysa mossambica Gravier, 1900
Marphysa mossambica Hartman, 1959
Marphysa mossambica Day, 1962
Marphysa mossambica Day, 1965
Marphysa mossambica Fishelson, 1971
Marphysa simplex Treadwell, 1922
(Subjective synonym)
Nauphanta mossambica (Peters, 1855)
(Superseded Recombination)
Nauphanta novaehollandiae Kinberg, 1865
(Subjective synonym)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Sandy, Muddy, Coastal


• West Bengal, Gangetic Delta INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Red Sea
• Gulf of Aden
• West Bengal, Sundarbans, Jhingakhali INDIA (Record: 12/09/1983)
• West Bengal, Kachuberia INDIA (Record: 26/09/1980)
• West Bengal, Sundarbans, Gona INDIA (Record: 04/11/1988)
• West Bengal, Sundarbans, Parseymari INDIA (Record: 09/11/1988)
• Maharashtra, Mumbai INDIA (Record: 1971, 1984)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nancowry Island INDIA
• Pondicherry INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kilakarai INDIA
• Bay of Bengal INDIA
• Palk Bay INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Manauli Island INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • A guide to Singapore Polychaetes Available at -
  • Rao, CAN (1995) Annelida: Polychaeta Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 319-336 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Wehe, T and Fiege, D (2002) Annotated checklist of the polychaete species of the seas surrounding the Arabian Peninsula: Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Gulf Fauna of Arabia 19 7-238 Available at -
  • Misra, A (1995) Polychaetes Estuarine ecosystem series, Part 2: Hugli Matla Estuary ZSI, Calcutta 93-155 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Kumar, RS (2001) Biodiversity and affinity of polychaetous annelids within the mangrove ecosystem of Indo-Pacific region Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 43(1&2) 206-213 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Parulekar, AH (1971) Polychaetes from Maharashtra and Goa Journal of Bombay Natural History Society Bombay Natural History Society 68(3) 726-749 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • James, PSBR ; Thomas, PA ; Pillai, CSG and Achari Kumaraswamy, GP (1969) ´╗┐Catalogue of types and of sponges, corals, polychaetes, crabs and echinoderms in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 7 1-66 Available at -
  • Fauvel, P (1953) The fauna of India including Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma and Malaya: Annelida, Polychaeta The Indian press ltd., Allahabad 507 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ghosh, A (1963) On a collection of polychaeta from the south-east coast of India with a new eunicid record Journal of the marine biological associaiton of India The marine biological association of India 5(2) 239-245 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Das, AK and Roy, MKD (1989) A general account of the mangrove fauna of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fauna of conservation areas Zoological survey of India 1-152 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-07-04

Back to Search