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A new species of Polygordius (Polychaeta: Polygordiidae): from the inner continental shelf and in bays and harbours of the north-eastern United States
Ramey, P.A.; Fiege, D.; Leander, B.S. (2006). A new species of Polygordius (Polychaeta: Polygordiidae): from the inner continental shelf and in bays and harbours of the north-eastern United States. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 86(5): 1025-1034
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Ramey, P.A.
  • Fiege, D.
  • Leander, B.S.

Abstract
    A new species of Polygordiidae, Polygordius jouinae sp. nov., along with its distribution, habitat, and reproduction is described. Polygordius jouinae sp. nov., the first North American Polygordius, is a dominant member of macrofaunal communities on the inner continental shelf, and in bays and harbours from Massachusetts to southern New Jersey. It is distinguished from most other Polygordius species by its non-inflated, heavily ciliated pygidium, absence of pygidial glands, and a conical (rather than rounded) prostomium. The 18S SSU rDNA from P. jouinae sp. nov was sequenced and represents the first named Polygordius species with a DNA reference in GenBank. Spearman rank correlation of sediment grain size with density of P. jouinae sp. nov. at a New Jersey site showed that density was significantly (P<0.05; N=92) positively correlated with the proportion of medium to very coarse sand and negatively correlated with the fine sand fractions. Ecologically, P. jouinae sp. nov. is an important macrofaunal species given its widespread distribution and its fidelity for coarse sand habitats. Thus, its relative abundance may be useful as an indicator of changing sedimentary conditions.

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