Long term trends in the macrobenthos of the Belgian Continental Shelf
Introduction Methods Taxonomy Distribution Project info Atlas

Macrobel taxon details

Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitella Blainville, 1828 
AphiaID: 129211

Classification: Biota > Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorAnimalia > Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorAnnelida > Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorPolychaeta > Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorSedentaria > Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorScolecida > Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitellidae > Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitella
Status accepted
Rank Genus
Parent Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitellidae Grube, 1862
Orig. name Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitella Blainville, 1828
  Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitomastus Eisig, 1887 (subjective synonym)
Sources  original description Blainville, H. de. (1828). Dictionnaire des Sciences naturelles, dans lequel on traite méthodiquement des différens êtres de la nature, considérés soit en eux-mêmes, d'après l'état actuel de nos connoissances, soit relativement a l'utilité qu'en peuvent retirer la médicine, l'agriculture, le commerce et les arts. Suivi d'une biographie des plus célèbres naturalistes. F.G. Levrault, Strasbourg & Paris. Volume 57: 1-628., available online at
page(s): 443 [details]

identification resource Silva, C.F.; Shimabukuro, M.; Alfaro-Lucas, J.M.; Fujiwara, Y.; Sumida, P.Y.; Amaral, A.C. (2016). A new Capitella polychaete worm (Annelida: Capitellidae) living inside whale bones in the abyssal South Atlantic. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers. 108: 23-31., available online at
page(s): 28-29; note: synoptic table for all the hitherto known species [details]

identification resource Pamungkas, Joko. (2017). Capitella ambonensis: a new polychaete species (Annelida: Capitellidae) collected from a mangrove habitat on Ambon Island, Indonesia. Zootaxa. 4227(4): 573-582., available online at
page(s): 579; note: Table of characters of Capitella species [details]

[show all]
Direct child
taxa (2)

[show all]
[sort alpha..]
 Species Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitella capitata (Fabricius, 1780)
Species Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorCapitella minima Langerhans, 1881
Environment marine, brackish, fresh, terrestrial
Fossil range recent only
Feedingtypes  deposit feeder: subsurface [details]
grazer [details]
Links Unreviewed: has not been verified by a taxonomic editorTo GenBank  
Unreviewed: has not been verified by a taxonomic editorTo ITIS
From editor or global species database
Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorDescription Two twin species can be found in the North Sea: Capitella capitata and Capitella minima. These two species are morphologically very hard to distinguish from each other, hence we speak of a Capitella complex. Capitella looks like earthworms because the exterior appendages (parapodia and gills) are very much reduced. The body is rather fragile and may contract and/or expand. The head is built rather simply and tapers conically. The colour of the living specimens is purple. [details]

Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorDistribution Barring a single exception the distribution of Capitella capitata/minima is limited to the near-coastal zone. In the 1976-1986 period the complex was found in the entire near-coastal zone with a low frequency of occurrence. In the 1994-2001 period the complex of species had a higher relative
occurence, but its distribution was limited to the western near-coastal zone. Its maximum density
increased from 40 ind./m2 in the 1976-1986 period to 700 ind./m2 in the 1994-2001 period. [details]

Checked: verified by a taxonomic editorHabitat Capitella capitata/minima is found in all sediment types present on the Belgian part of the North Sea. Although this species occurs in very fine to coarse sediments, it tends to prefer fine-grained sediments with a median grain size of 50-250 µm. Capitella capitata/minima is almost completely absent in sediments without mud. The maximum relative occurrence (> 60%) is observed in sediments with a mud content of 10-20% whereas C. capitata/minima has a relative occurrence of 20 to 30% in sediments with higher mud contents. [details]
ImageChecked: verified by a taxonomic editor 
Capitella sp.
Capitella sp.
Edit history
Date   action   by
2004-12-21 15:54:05Z  created  Bellan, Gérard
2008-03-26 11:36:43Z  changed  Fauchald, Kristian
2011-12-25 22:58:18Z  changed  Read, Geoffrey
2017-02-06 23:08:45Z  changed  Read, Geoffrey
[Taxonomic tree] [Occurrence map] [Google] [Google scholar] [Google images]
  Citation: Read, G.; Bellan, G. (2017). Capitella Blainville, 1828. In: Read, G.; Fauchald, K. (Ed.) (2017). World Polychaeta database. Accessed through: Taxa used on the Macrobel website at on 2017-09-24