Nicolea murrayae, Nogueira, João Miguel Matos, Hutchings, Pat & Carrerette, Orlemir, 2015

Nogueira, João Miguel Matos, Hutchings, Pat & Carrerette, Orlemir, 2015, Terebellidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Zootaxa 4019 (1), pp. 484-576: 491-495

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Nicolea murrayae

n. sp.

Nicolea murrayae   n. sp.

( Figs 1 View FIGURE 1 A–B, 4–6)

Nicolea amnis   .— Hutchings & Glasby 1988: 35, in part. Non Hutchings & Murray 1984.

Type material. Holotype: NTM W. 203126, off SW Palfrey Island, 14 ° 41 ' 39 "S, 145 ° 26 ' 29 "E, 4 m, coll. Glasby & Watson, Apr 2008, complete, female, 5 mm long, 1.2 mm wide. Paratypes, AM W. 44603, MI QLD 2397, Coconut Beach, photographed; AM W. 44607, MI QLD 2309, 2 plus 1 mounted on SEM pin; AM W. 47702, CReefs, LI– 10– 72, MI QLD 2209, North Direction Island, lagoon patch reef, 14 ° 44 ' 43 "S, 145 ° 30 ' 18 "E, incomplete specimen, in excellent state of preservation, but very small, ~ 3.5 mm long, ~ 0.9 mm wide, with 33 segments, gravid; AM W. 200948, near Bird Islet, Lizard Island, 14 ° 40 'S, 145 ° 28 'E, 8 Apr 1977, originally described as N. amnis   (non Hutchings & Murray, 1984).

Comparative material examined. Holotype of Nicolea amnis Hutchings & Murray, 1984   , AM W. 196218.

Description. In life, greenish brown body, speckled with white iridescent spots; photographed specimen with mass of bright white internal contents, probably sperm ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 A–B). Transverse prostomium attached to dorsal surface of upper lip; basal part with numerous eyespots laterally, continuing mid-dorsally as thin line, mid-dorsal gap absent ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A–H, J–M; 5 B–C, E–F, J, L–M). Buccal tentacles deeply grooved, longer tentacles about same length as region with notopodia ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A–H, J–M; 5 A–G, J–M). Peristomium forming lips, hood-like upper lip, longer than wide; small, swollen lower lip, restricted to oral area ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A–H, J–M; 5 C, E, L–M). Segment 1 reduced dorsally, developed ventrally, with ventral lobe marginal to mouth; other lobes on anterior segments absent, but segment 2 with thickened anterior margin, protruding as a ventral crest; segments 2–4 very narrow ventrally, especially segment 3 ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A–H, J–M; 5 B–C, E–F, J, L–M). Anterior segments inflated dorsally. Paired dorso-lateral arborescent branchiae present on segments 2–3, branchial filaments with few dichotomous branches; first pair longer, about half body width of segment 2 ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 B–G, J–L; 5 B, F, J–K), dorsally aligned to second pair. Ventral shields on segments 2–13, all smooth, trapezoidal, wider anteriorly, last two pairs slightly shorter and narrower ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A, C, G–H, K–M; 5 C, E–G, J, L–M). Fourteen pairs of short and conical notopodia with progressively broader bases, beginning on segment 4 and extending to segment 17; notopodia of first pair about same size as following pairs and originating slightly dorsally to them ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A–H, J–M; 5 A–H, J–L; 6 A–B, D, F). Notochaetae in both rows narrowly-winged distally ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 A–F). Neuropodia present from segment 5, as low, almost sessile ridges until segment 19, 2 segments after termination of notopodia, and slightly raised pinnules from segment 20 ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A–M; 5 A–C, E–J, L). Neurochaetae throughout as short-handled avicular uncini, arranged in completely intercalated double rows from segments 10–19, two segments after termination of notopodia ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 H, O –Q), in single rows on anterior neuropodia and from segment 20 onwards ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 G–N); in holotype, double rows of uncini extending to segment 18 on right side of body and segment 19 on left side. Uncini throughout with ~ 3 rows of progressively shorter secondary teeth ( Figs 5 View FIGURE 5 O –Q; 6 G–N). Nephridial and genital papillae usually present on segments 3 and 6–7, in line and posterior to notopodia; genital papillae with sexual dimorphism, females with rounded papillae, males with elongate, digitiform papillae ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 F–G, J–L; 5 J–K). Pygidium smooth to crenulate ( Figs 4 View FIGURE 4 A–D, I; 5 A–C, I, N). Mucous tube.

Remarks. Nicolea murrayae   n. sp. differs from the only other Australian species of Nicolea   , N. amnis   , which was recorded from Lizard Island by Hutchings & Glasby (1988), in terms of number of pairs of notopodia and in having relatively few (2–3) dichotomous branchings on the branchiae; material identified as N. amnis   by Hutchings & Glasby (1988) from Lizard Island was examined and is transferred to this new species.

Nicolea amnis   , originally described from Botany Bay, NSW, by Hutchings & Murray (1984), has 16 pairs of notopodia and two pairs of branchiae with dichotomous branches throughout their length. Subsequently Hutchings & Glasby (1988) expanded the distribution of this species to all around Australia and suggested that the number of pairs of notopodia was highly variable. They also suggested that N. amnis   occurred over a wide depth range, from intertidal to 71 m.

However, we now believe that N. amnis   has a much more restricted range and we suggest that records distant from the type locality should be re-examined. This just reinforces the statement made by Hutchings & Murray (1984) that an urgent revision of the group is needed and that many of the currently known species are poorly known. The reported variation into the number of pairs of notopodia ( Hutchings & Glasby 1988) needs a careful reevaluation and other characters, such as distribution and arrangement of papillae, distribution of ventral pads, and shape and orientation of uncini, which are rarely mentioned in other species descriptions, need to be carefully documented to distinguish between the species of this genus.

Etymology. This species is named after Anna Murray, who participated in the Lizard Island workshop and has had a long involvement in documenting the Australian polychaete fauna.

Type locality. Off SW Palfrey Island, 14 ° 41 ' 39 "S, 145 ° 26 ' 29 "E, Lizard Island, GBR, Australia.

Distribution. Known only from the Lizard Island region.


Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences


Royal Botanic Gardens, National Herbarium of New South Wales














Nicolea murrayae

Nogueira, João Miguel Matos, Hutchings, Pat & Carrerette, Orlemir 2015

Nicolea amnis

Hutchings 1988: 35