Protula tubularia   (Montagu,  1803) (Marine Worm)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Polychaeta

Image Copyrights: Keith Hiscock

Size: 0.3-0.5 cm in length

Colour: Head-green; posterior region- reddish-orange; tentacles- white or pinkish; Chaetae- pale golden.

It forms a white, calcareous tube lacking distinct growth rings in which it lives. It has a small, elongated, segmented body that tapers towards the posterior.
The body is divided into a head, a short, anterior region of eight segments and a much longer posterior region of up to 90-120 segments.
The head is reduced and has two gill lobes each bearing 20-45, slightly spiralled tentacles that are pinnate in two rows and marked with paired red blotches and numerous eyespots. The head is surrounded by a collar that bears finely toothed chaetae and extends dorsally to a distinctive, large, lobed membrane either side of the thorax.
Chaetae are present on all segments except the first. Chaetae in the thoracic region are long and slender and display narrow wings. Those in the posterior region are longer but lack narrow wings.

Synonym (s)
Protula (Protula) tubularia (Montagu, 1803)
Protula (Protula) tuburalia (Montagu, 1803)
Protula (Psygmobranchus) tubularia (Montagu, 1803)
Protula (Psygmobranchus) protensa not Gmelin, Philippi, 1844
(Subjective synonym)
Protula borealis M. Sars, 1866
(Subjective synonym)
Protula capensis McIntosh, 1885
(Subjective synonym)
Protula elegans Milne Edwards, 1845
(Subjective synonym)
Protula meilhaci Soulier, 1908
(Subjective synonym)
Protula protensa not (Gmelin, 1791), sensu Philippi, 1844
(Subjective synonym)
Protula rudolphi Risso, 1826
(Subjective synonym)
Protula tabularia (Montagu, 1803)
Protula tubularia capensis McIntosh, 1885
Protula tubularia tubularia (Montagu, 1803)
Psygmobranchus elegans (Milne Edwards, 1845)
(Subjective synonym)
Psygmobranchus intermedius Marion, 1875
(Subjective synonym)
Psygmobranchus pratensis (Gmelin, 1791)
Psygmobranchus protensus not Gmelin, sensu Philippi, 1844
(Subjective synonym)
Psygmobranchus simplex Quatrefages, 1866
(Subjective synonym)
Psygmobranchus tubularis (Montagu, 1803)
Serpula arundo Turton, 1819
(Subjective synonym)
Serpula tubularia Montagu, 1803
(Objective synonym)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Demersal, Coastal


• Maharashtra, Mumbai (Lat: 18.9) (Long: 72.66) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pamban, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Maharashtra, Mumbai Port INDIA (Record: 11/1996-12/1996)

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Gaonkar, CA; Sawant, SS; Anil, AC; Krishnamurthy, V and Harkantra, SN (2010) Changes in the occurance of hard substratum fauna: A case study from Mumbai harbour, India Indian Journal of Marine Sciences National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, CSIR, New Delhi, India 39(1) 74-84 Available at -
  • 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 -
  • Sukumaran, S and Devi, KS (2009) Polychaete diversity and its relevance in the rapid environmental assessment of Mumbai Port Current Science Current Science Association in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Sciences 97(10) 1439-1444 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-31

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