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rag worms live inside hermit crab shells

 
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Karen



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Wiltshire

PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:20 pm    Post subject: rag worms live inside hermit crab shells Reply with quote

Ragworms are known to live inside the shell that a Hermit Crab is inhabiting.


When the crabs tears up food the ragworm pokes its head out the shell and can feed as well.

I'm not sure what benefits if any, the Hermit

Crab gets from the presence of the Ragworm. Maybe its just being parasitic.

Karen
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bethany
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Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Nearwater

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ragworm is a polychaete worm. Most polycheates live on their own, but a number have become associated with

other organisms.
For instance the ragworm Nereis fucata lives in the shell of the Hermit Crab Eupagurus bernhardus

.
Ragworms are ferocious hunters.. perhaps the deal is that the crab is not eaten if it provides enough scraps that the worm can munch as well.


Not sure what happens when it comes time to start swapping shells for a new, bigger one... maybe the worm goes as well, but have never seen this to varify it.



I wonder what relationship it is classed as... parasitic, symbiotic, 'freeloader', other?


Martin, D. & Britayev, T.A., 1998.

Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 36: 217-340.
Symbiotic Polychaetes: Review of known species
D. MARTIN & T.A. BRITAYEV
ABSTRACT
Although there

have been numerous isolated studies and reports of symbiotic relationships of polychaetes and other marine animals, the only previous attempt to provide an overview of

these phenomena among the polychaetes comes from the 1950s, with no more than 70 species of symbionts being very briefly treated.
Based on the available

literature and on our own field observations, we compiled a list of the mentions of symbiotic polychaetes known to date. Thus, the present review includes 292 species

of commensal polychaetes from 28 families involved in 713 relationships and 81 species of parasitic polychaetes from 13 families involved in 253 relationships.
When

possible, the main characteristic features of symbiotic polychaetes and their relationships are discussed. Among them, we include systematic account, distribution within

host groups, host specificity, intra-host distribution, location on the host, infestation prevalence and intensity, and morphological, behavioural and/or physiological and

reproductive adaptations. When appropriate, the possible directions for further research are also indicated.

to read full pdf go to this link:


http://www.ceab.csic.es/~dani/main.pdf

the pdf is taken from the main index seen here:
http://www.ceab.csic.es/~dani/#Symbiotic%20Polychaeta



beth
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