Clymenella torquata

Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Capitellida (Maldanidae, maldanid)
Species name: Clymenella torquata (Leidy 1855)
Synonyms: None
Common name: Bamboo worm
Date of introduction and origin
Clymenella torquata was first recorded from Whitstable, Kent, in 1936 by Newell (1949a, 1949b; Pilgrim 1965). It was introduced as a consequence of trade from the western Atlantic between 1870 and 1936.
Method of introduction
It was introduced unintentionally in associated with the American oyster Crassostrea virginica to oyster grounds on the south-east coast of England (Newell 1954).
Reasons for success
Rate of spread and methods involved
It would not have appeared to have spread, except that a single adult specimen was recorded 5 km off the Northumberland coast in 1976.
Still recorded from Whitstable in 1959 (Pilgrim 1965; Zibrowius & Thorp 1989) and also collected from Northumberland in 1976 by R. Bamber (pers. comm.).
Factors likely to influence spread and distribution
Effects on the environment
Effects on commercial interests
Control methods used and effectiveness
None used.
Beneficial effects
Pilgrim (1965) commented that individuals collected from Whitstable were 15 cm long while those from Beaufort, North Carolina, USA, were only 6 cm long, but were otherwise the same.
Newell, G.E. 1949a. The occurrence of a species of Clymenella Verrill (Polychaeta, fam. Maldanidae) on the north coast of Kent. Nature,163: 648-649.
Newell, G.E. 1949b. Clymenella torquata (Leidy), a polychaete new to Britain. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 2: 147-155.
Newell, G.E. 1954. The marine fauna of Whitstable. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 7: 321-350.
Pilgrim, M. 1965. The functional anatomy and histology of the alimentary canal of the maldanid polychaetes Clymenella torquata and Euclymene oerstedi. Journal of Zoology, 147: 387-405.
Pilgrim, M. 1966. The morphology of the head, thorax, proboscis apparatus and pygidium of the maldanid polychaetes Clymenella torquata and Euclymene oerstedi .Journal of Zoology, 148: 453-475.
Zibrowius, H., & Thorp, C.H. 1989. A review of the alien serpulid and spirorbid polychaetes in the British Isles. Cahiers de Biologie Marine,30: 271-285.
Acknowledgements (contributions from questionnaire)
Dr C. Mettam, University of Cardiff.