First Report on Mass Reproductive Swarming of a Polychaete Worm, Dendronereis aestuarina (Annelida, Nereididae) Southern 1921, from a Freshwater Environment in the South West Coast of India  

P.R. Jayachandran , M.P. Prabhakaran , C.V. Asha , Akhilesh Vijay , S. Bijoy Nandan
Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology & Biochemistry, School of Marine Sciences, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Cochin-16, India
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2015.05.0003
Received: 25 Oct., 2014    Accepted: 23 Nov., 2014    Published: 05 Jan., 2015
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Jayachandran et al., 2015, First report on mass reproductive swarming of a polychaete worm, Dendronereis aestuarina (Annelida, Nereididae) Southern 1921, from a freshwater environment in the south west coast of India, International Journal of Marine Science, Vol.5, No.3 1-7 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2015.05.0003)

Abstract

In the present study we report the occurrence of red coloured mass reproductive swarms of Dendronereis aestuarina from Periyar River of the south west coast of India. It was observed in the freshwater zone of the river during the evening hours of August 31st, 2010. Reproductive swarmingbehaviourof D. aestuarinahas been first reported by Southern, 1921 from brackishwater environment in the Gangetic delta, however present study reports first time from absolutely freshwater environment. The density of swarmed polychaete was ~14800 indls. m-2 with the average length of 86 ± 16 mm. Male worms were dominated in the 60 specimens analyzed and the sex ratio was 3:1 (M/F). The average diameter of eggs collected from polychaete body was 0.33 ± 0.08 mm. Swarming was extended for two days; after successful mating and spawning they were died.

Keywords
Dendronereis aestuarina; Reproductive swarming; Periyar River; Cochin estuary; Kodungallure - Azhikode estuary

The polychaetes worms are generally found living in all marine environments, some floating freely near the surface or the bottom (pelagic fauna), some others, as part of the benthic fauna, burrowing in the mud, sand and rocks of seashores down to abyssal depths and they can even colonize non marine habitats, such as freshwater and others aquatic systems (Southern 1921, Fauvel 1953, Nyman et al. 1995, Hutchings 1998, Bakken and Wilson 2005). Over 10,000 species have been described to date, belonging to 83 recognized families, and various estimates have been made to the total polychaete fauna ranging from 25,000 to 30,000 (Snelgrove 1997, Rouse and Pleijel 2001). {Rouse, 2001 #774} They exhibit considerable variations in recruitment both in time and space, which is then often reflected in adult distribution. The families and genera of polychaetes have wide distributions while, normally, species have discrete distributions (Hutchings 1998, Ajmal Khan and Murugesan 2005). A quantitatively enhanced population indicates that input of organic matter stimulat

International Journal of Marine Science
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