Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Parasitic worm on sea urchin?

For the past two days while guiding a group of students from MGS at Changi beach, I noticed this segmented like thing coiling around the mouth or Aristotle's lantern of the white sea urchin, Salmacis sp.


Leech? on urchin

I thought that it was a parasite initially (it does look like a leech) but r and ks mentioned that it could be part of the urchin's body. Until today, when I saw that the worm started to move about around its host's mouth am I certain that it is not part of its body! Such an interesting discovery. I wonder if this worm just scavenge on the food which this urchin feeds or is it a blood sucker?

4 comments:

ria said...

What an interesting observation! We quite commonly see this worm-like animal curled around the mouth of the black short-spined sea urchin (Temnopleurus sp.).

For more photos see http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/echinodermata/echinoidea/urchin/temnopleurus.htm

But we don't see this animal so often on the white sea urchins.

Siyang said...

Thanks for the info Ria~ =)

jfitzAC said...

I work in a lab where we use Lytechinus pictus (a small whitish sea urchin from the CA coast). Lately they're infested with a microscopic (roughly egg-sized or so) C-shaped organism that is present among (not inside of) both the eggs and the sperm. Anyone else seen this?

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