Scanning electron microscope observations on the tube of the reef-forming serpulid ficopomatus enigmaticus (Fauvel) (annelida, polychaeta)

Stefano Aliani, C. Nike Bianchi, Carlo De Asmundis, Roberto Meloni

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The tube of Ficopomatus enigmaticus (Fauvel) has two different layers: an outer, 90 pm-thick calcareous one and an inner, very thin organic membrane. Prismatic crystals, about 5 pm in length, are evident at the inner surface of the calcareous layer. In the reef-like aggregates, tubes grow perpendicular to the substratum and are closely packed: their density ranges from 70 000 to 180 000 worms-m'2, and distance between tube mouths averages 1.2 mm. Adherence between tubes appears to be due to wedge-shaped junctions, consisting of 10-12 pm-long clusters of crystals. Small tubes of newly settled individuals encrust interweaving adult tubes and help to consolidate the reef framework. © 1995 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363 - 367
Number of pages5
JournalBolletino di zoologia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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