rluxmoore's picture

Polychaete egg masses

Observed: 24th March 2012 By: rluxmoore
polychaete eggs

Many gelatinous egg masses on sandy shore at low tide. Each mass contains about 40 small (1mm) segmented organisms which appear to be polychaetes.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


ChrisMcA's picture

not very green

the thing about E viridis is it's very green; so I reckon it's a sand dwelling relative (ie polchaete worm) (I've found such tethered to the sand)

gramandy's picture


.. unlikely to be green leaf worm as already mentioned they are green not brown. Still think you're probably on the right track though. Will have a little research myself.

dejayM's picture


The Paddle Worm Phyllodoce maculata might be a candidate.
These little blobs are precisely the right size.
Here - http://eol.org/pages/459154/overview - read the text
http://eol.org/pages/459154/overview for a look at 'netted' egg mass.
Go to mine http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/324203
and look at the form and much bigger size (Eulalia viridis - hopefully)
This is the searchable site I use for such information but there is no mention of egg masses in this case.

ChrisMcA's picture

hold on there,Dejay,that EOL

hold on there,Dejay,that EOL site describes the phyllodoce egg masses as bottle green.

dejayM's picture

ignoring the rule

You know, I saw them as pale green, carelessly ignoring the "smaller, browner and more...".
I had seen pictures of very pale ones and even here http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/20468 shown covered with sediment, (even though it's Eulalia viridis).
My proposal may be flawed then Richard..
I'm holding on Chris..thanks.

gramandy's picture


...phyllodoce worm is likely this colour as they can blend to look like the sand and anchored there - I wouldn't want to go beyond a phyllodoce polychaete worm until I had seen the end result.

ChrisMcA's picture

I'd stick at the paddleworm

I'd stick at the paddleworm family, Phyllodocidae

gramandy's picture

i agree..

...my conclusion too.

dejayM's picture


Richard - a lovely first post, I do hope you see the value of such things, specially with a 'stab' at ID yourself.
Your Title, photo and description - all excellent.
I think the Know-team above (NOT me) are suggesting you change the ID to, say - Paddleworm egg capsules (Phyllodocidae)
you'd be safe using the word cocoon too.
Here's a link
there are dozens of sub-links there, should you want to go further.
ð (Orkney)