Britayev T.A.1, Fauchald K.2 2005. New species of symbiotic scaleworms Asterophilia (Polychaeta, Polynoidae) from Vietnam // Invertebrate Zoology. Vol.2. No.1: 15–22 [in English].

1 A.N. Severtzov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr. 33, 117071 Moscow, Russia.

2 Department of Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, NHB MRC 0163, Washington, DC 20013–7012, USA. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: During the observation of fauna associated with starfishes performed at the shallow coastal waters of Vietnam (South China Sea, Nhatrang Bay) in 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1999, the new species of symbiotic scaleworm was found. The species is similar to Asterophilia carlae, but differs in elytra with distinctive frontal pockets and micropapillae, and in middle neurochaetae with serrated edge and without enlarged basal row of serrations (semilunar pocket). The specimens were associated with starfishes Culcita novaeguineae, Protoreaster nodosus, Linckia laevigata, and with unidentified unstalked crinoids. Worms have been located on the ventral surface of starfishes or hidden in ambulacral grooves. Each infested host harbored 1 or 2 specimens of scaleworm. The prevalence of host infestation was very low in all host species and counted in C. novaeguineae. It varied from 3.3 to 13% with average meaning 8.5% (n = 188). Females were slightly larger than males. This is the first record of Asterophilia species at the coast of Vietnam and the first record of symbiotic polychaete associated with wide spread tropical starfish Culcita novaeguineae and the fifth symbiotic polychaetes recorded in Vietnamese coastal waters.

KEY WORDS: symbiosis, polychaetes, scaleworms, sea stars, Vietnam.

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