Nicolea uspiana ( Nogueira, 2003 ), Nogueira, 2003

Londoño-Mesa, Mario H., 2006, Revision of Paraeupolymnia, and redescription of Nicolea uspiana comb. nov. (Terebellidae: Polychaeta), Zootaxa 1117, pp. 21-35: 32-34

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.171661

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Nicolea uspiana ( Nogueira, 2003 )

comb. nov.

Nicolea uspiana ( Nogueira, 2003)   comb. nov.

Figure 3 View FIGURE 3 A –H

Paraeupolymnia uspiana Nogueira, 2003: 406   –410; Figs. 1 View FIGURE 1 , 2 View FIGURE 2 .

Material examined: Type material: Paratypes: ZMC­POL­ 1604 (4) Ilha Porchat (23 ° 59 ’S 46 ° 23 ’W), São Vicente, Brazil. 17.XI. 2002, intertidal, rocky shore. Paratypes AM W­ 28632 (5) Ilha Porchat (23 ° 59 ’S 46 ° 23 ’W), São Vicente, Brazil. 17.XI. 2002, Intertidal, rocky shore among sponges, ascidians, algae and polychaetes tubes; collected by J.M.M. Nogueira and M. Veronesi.

Diagnosis: Best paratype (ZMC­POL­ 1604) complete, whitish, 53 segments, 16 mm long, thorax 7 mm long and 1 mm wide, narrower in the first 3 segments, then wider in mid­thoracic region, and abdomen narrower again ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 A –C). Tentacles long, thin, smooth, unpigmented. Tentacular membrane short, with visible base, ventral lobes poorly developed; eyespots absent. Upper lip long, with rounded ridge, projected forwards. Lower lip slightly swollen, smooth, protected, ventrally covered by thin membrane of first segment. Segment one clearly distinguished dorsally and laterally. Fourteen ventral shields from segment 2; first shield twice as wide as the second, second one the thinnest; then, narrower and decreasing in size, final ones very thin and long. Two pairs of dichotomous branchiae on segments 2 and 3, long, with thin stems, the first pair twice as long as second pair; three levels of ramification. Nephridial papillae rounded, on segments 6 and 7, posterior to notopodia. Seventeen pairs of notopodia from segment 4; notopodia conical, short, with all chaetae of similar size, bilimbate and curved ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 D). Neuropodia from segment 5; swollen and well­developed tori, long and projected posteriorly in abdomen. Uncini in single rows in the first 5 neuropodia, main fang pointing forwards ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 E, F), then, in double rows with uncini alternating face to face, up to segment 20; in single rows from segment 21 posteriorly to 23 segments before pygidium, main fang directed forwards ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 G). Anterior thoracic uncini MF: 3: 2; posterior thoracic uncini MF: 2–3: 2–4: 2–3. Subrostrum narrow, closed by main fang which reaches almost anterior end; subrostral appendix acute, well developed, anterior process rounded, without anterior filament; base strongly curved; posterior process quadrangular, without posterior filament; occipitium straight in lower part and curved in upper part, finishing in 2–3 teeth. Abdominal uncini MF: 2–3: 1–2: 2. Subrostrum open, main fang shorter than in thoracic ones; subrostral process acute, without subrostral appendix; anterior process short, rounded and well developed, with anterior filament thin, curved and short; base curved; posterior process fused to posterior filament, not always present; occipitium long, lower part smoothly concave, upper part convex, terminating in 2 small teeth. Pygidium smooth, short, without papillae, but some specimens with short, rounded papillae ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 H).

Var ia t io n: Variation in the colour patterns of living specimens was reported by Nogueira (2003). The size varies among paratypes; all of them are complete, with 42–54 segments, total length from 4.2 (the smallest) to 24 mm (the largest). Thoracic length varies from 2.1–9 mm, and thoracic width from 0.4–1.5 mm. There was no variation in the number of notochaetigers present in the paratypes examined (AM and ZMC), although Nogueira (2003) reported rare variation in other paratypes (AM), between 16–18. All of the specimens examined lacked eyespots, regardless of size of individuals. Nevertheless, the holotype and some reported juvenile paratypes originally had many eyespots irregularly distributed around the base of tentacular membrane in the former, and in lateral patches in the latter. Some other variation is present in the number of pygidial papillae (lobes in the original description); one of the specimens deposited at the AM had about 5 short, rounded papillae present on the edge of the pygidium. The others specimens, from ZMC, had a smooth edge without papillae.

Remarks: This species was described originally as a species of Paraeupolymnia   ; however, morphological features including 2 pairs of branched branchiae, lateral lappets absent, smooth­tipped notochaetae present from segment 4, and 15–40 thoracic chaetigers, indicate that it belongs to the genus Nicolea   . The presence of lateral lappets is a useful character used to distinguish genera of terebellids. However the form of the lateral lappets varies between genera from long auricular appendages emerging from the anterior lateral side of the worm, sometimes with ventral connections among them (e.g. Lanice   , Loimia   , Paraeupolymnia   or Pista   ), to swollen and glandular lateral prolongations of the ventral shields (e.g. Eupolymnia   ). The taxonomic key of Fauchald (1977) does not differentiate between these two kinds of lappets, although noting they may arise from different segments. After re­examining type material it is apparent that Nicolea uspiana   comb. nov. lacks lateral lappets of either kind. The number of notochaetigers is a stable character in Paraeupolymnia   ; all specimens belonging to this genus only have 17. In contrast, Nicolea   has a variable number of notochaetigers within a species, as has been reported by Nogueira (2003) for this species, and by Hutchings & Glasby (1988) for Nicolea amnis Hutchings & Murray 1984   , depending of the size of the worms. Thus, for these reasons P. uspiana   is transferred to Nicolea   .

Several features need to be clarified from the original description. The external membrane protecting the lower lip is a ventral development of segment 1, and not a true lower lip, as considered by Nogueira (2003). This feature also occurs in Loimia   , which have a well­developed ventral ridge connecting the lateral ridges of the first pair of lateral lappets (segment 1). Nogueira mentions that the ventral pharyngeal organ (VPO) is visible in the SEM pictures, but the arrows are pointing to the lower lip. The VPO is not visible because it is behind the lower lip and lies inside the mouth, as shown by Zhadan & Tzetlin (2002). Ventral shields begin on segment 2 and not on segment 4; the ventral shield on segment 1 is modified as a ventral membrane in front of the lower lip. Finally, Fauchald (1977) considered the genus as having double rows of uncini in a back to back position; nevertheless, Nogueira (2003) reported the correct arrangement of the uncini face to face as it is present in all the other species belonging to this genus.

Salazar­Vallejo (1996) reports two species of Nicolea   from the Caribbean region, Nicolea cetrata ( Ehlers, 1887)   and N. modesta Verrill, 1900   , but both are problematic species. Nicolea cetrata   was described from southern Florida, but after revision of the type material in the MCZ, this species was found to belong to Pista   (personal observation) and the original description of N. modesta   by Verrill (1900) does not include the nephridial papillae, or the shape of uncini. According to Hartman (1959) and Holthe (1986), the type material is indeterminable. Future revision of the genus is needed in order to find more diagnostic characters and redescribed all described species.

Type locality: Ubatuba, Praia da Fazenda, São Paulo, Brazil..

Distribution: State of São Paulo shores; intertidal.


Deptment of Biology, Zunyi Medical College


Museum of Comparative Zoology














Nicolea uspiana ( Nogueira, 2003 )

Londoño-Mesa, Mario H. 2006

Paraeupolymnia uspiana

Nogueira 2003: 406