BIOTIC Species Information for Magelona spp.
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameMagelona spp. Common nameA bristleworm
MCS Code Recent Synonyms

PhylumAnnelida Subphylum
Superclass ClassPolychaeta
Subclass OrderSpionida
Suborder FamilyMagelonidae
GenusMagelona Species

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Fiege et al., 2000, Jones, 1977,
General Biology
Growth formVermiform segmented
Feeding method
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesDetritus HabitBurrow dwelling
Bioturbator Flexibility
Fragility SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
Height Growth Rate
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationAbundance
Occurs at high densities where environmental conditions are suitable. For example, Magelona papillicormis has been reported at densities of 279 individuals per 0.1 m² on sandy muddy ground in the Elbe Estuary.
Magelona mirabilis feeds by gathering organic material from the sediment surface with its palps. When feeding on poorly sorted material, selectivity may be shown in that magelonids prefer to handle larger particles. Small crustaceans may also be taken as prey, for example, the mucous on the palps may trap a few harpacticoids although this is likely to be incidental. In well sorted sand, selectivity may be absent as particles with a high organic content have already been concentrated by other means.
Biology References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Fiege et al., 2000, Giangrande, 1997, Fauchald & Jumars, 1979, Kuhl, 1972, Niermann et al., 1990, Giangrande, 1997,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandAll Great Britain
Global distributionNorth-east Atlantic to Mediterranean
Biogeographic range Depth range
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesCoarse clean sand
Fine clean sand
Physiographic preferences
Biological zoneSublittoral Fringe
Wave exposure
Tidal stream strength/Water flow Salinity
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Fiege et al., 2000, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, Lackschewitz & Reise, 1998, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive Season Reproductive Location
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span3-5 years Age at reproductive maturity1-2 years
Generation time1-2 years Fecundity
Egg/propagule size130µ m diam Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement period
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
Reproduction References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Fiege et al., 2000, Giangrande, 1997, Kuhl, 1972, Probert, 1981, Bosselmann, 1989, Kröncke, 1990, Niermann et al., 1990, Giangrande, 1997,
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