Marphysa gravelyi   Southern,  1921 (Marine Worm)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Polychaeta

Size: Length 240-565 mm. Width 5-7 mm.

Prostomium bilobed. Tentacles subequal, a little longer than the prostomium. The gills, which begin about 36th-52nd foot, and attain up to 8-9 filaments continue to the hind part of the body. Dorsal setae simple, capillary. In the posterior segments the ventral compound setae, with knife-like terminal piece, are gradually replaced by capillary setae. Bifid acicular bristles. Body flattened.
Elongated worms with 200-250 segments. Branchia from 20-32 segments, with a maximum of 6-7 filaments and continue to the posterior end; Anterior and middle feet with dorsal capillary setae and ventral falcigers with knife like end pieces. In the posterior feet some of the compound setae are replaced by 1-2 capillary setae in the neuropodia thus both capillaries and falcigers are present in the posterior feet. Comb setae not seen. Stout acicular setae with bidentate tips.

The occurrence of this species can be well noticed by its large balloon like egg masses after the full moon and new moon days.

This species is very close to the Marphysa sanguinea and its seperation from Marphysa gravelyi is very difficult.

Synonym (s)
Marphysa gravelyi Hartman, 1959
Marphysa gravelyi Wesenberg-Lund, 1949
Marphysa gravelyi Fauvel, 1932
Marphysa gravelyi Southern, 1921

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Estuarine, Muddy, Coastal


• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Kerala, Ashtamudi Lake INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi Backwaters INDIA (Record: 1989-1991)
• Kerala, Beypore Estuary INDIA
• Gujarat, Auranga Estuary INDIA
• Gujarat, Narmada Estuary INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Parangipettai Coast (Lat: 11.48) (Long: 79.76) INDIA
• Orissa, Barakuda INDIA
• Orissa, Palur canal INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Arabian Gulf
• Tamil Nadu, Thondi INDIA (Record: 06/2005-05/2006)
• East Coast, Coromandel, Pulicat Lake INDIA (Record: 1997-1998)
• Kerala, Kochi INDIA (Record: 1994, 1995)
• Tamil Nadu, Adyar Estuary INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam Coast INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi and Zuari Estuary INDIA
• Karnataka, Kali Estuary INDIA
• West Coast, Mulki Estuary INDIA
• Kerala, Korapuzha Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Adyar Backwaters INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Sunil Kumar, R A checklist of polychaete species some mangroves of Asia Zoos' Print Journal 18(2) 1017-1020
  • Southern, R (1921) Fauna of the Chilka lake (Polychaeta of the Chilka lake and also of fresh and brackish waters in other parts of India) Memoirs of the Indian Museum Available at - NCL, Pune
  • 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 -
  • Khan, AS and Murugesan, P (2005) Polychaete diversity in Indian estuaries Indian Journal of Marine Sciences National Institute of Science Communication And Information Resources, CSIR, New Delhi, India, in association with Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, INDIA 34(1) 114-119 Available at -
  • Kumar, RS (2002) Biomass, horizontal zonation and vertical stratification of polychaete fauna in the littoral sediment of Cochin estuarine mangrove habitat, south west coast of India Indian Journal of Marine Sciences CSIR, New Delhi 31 100-107 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Kumar, RS (1995) Macrobenthos in the mangrove ecosystem of Cochin backwaters, Kerala (southwest coast of India) Indian Journal of Marine Sciences CSIR, New Delhi 24 56-61 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Goswami, BCB (1992) Marine fauna of Digha coast of West Bengal, India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 34 115-137 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Srikrishnadhas, B; Murugesan, P and Khan, SA (1998) Polychaetes of Parangipettai coast Annamalai University, Parangipettai 110 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Rao, CAN (1995) Annelida: Polychaeta Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 319-336 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Serebiah, JS; Stella, C and Kadhar, AA (2008) Assessment of benthos in the subtidal area of Thondi (Palk Bay), southeast Tamilnadu- GIS based explication Proceedings of the national symposium on marine and coastal ecosystems 27-29, August 2007 Seaweed Research and Utilisation Seaweed Research and Utilisation Association, Marine Fisheries- 623 520, Tamilnadu, India 30 279-296 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Raj, PJS, Tilak, JL and Kalaimani, G (2002) Experiments in restoration of benthic biodiversity in Pulicat Lake, south India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 44(1 & 2) 37-45 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
  • Kumar, RS (1999) New record of five annelids (Class: Polychaeta) from the mangrove habitat of the south west coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 41(1&2) 116-118 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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
  • Krishnamoorthi, B (1963) On the distribution of six species of polychaetes in the Adyar estuary, Madras Journal of the marine biological association of India The marine biological association of India 5(1) 97-102 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Panikkar, NK and Aiyar, RG (1937) The brackish water fauna of Madras Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Section B Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, India 6(5) 284-337 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-02-07

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