Phoronis australis Haswell, 1883

Actinotrocha australis


Phoronis buskii McIntosh, 1888

Phoronis bhadurii Ganguly & Majumdar, 1967

° References of the most recent published diagnoses

Pictures of Phoronis australis


Last update: March 2, 2017  

Extended specimens up to 200 mm, diameter 2-5 mm.
Colour black, deep reddish or pink.
Lophophore spiral with 2.5 to 3.5 coils on each side, up to 1,000 tentacles, 5-16 mm in length. Nephridia with two funnels (the anal larger than the oral), a single curved ascending branch, the nephridiopore opens on the nephridial ridge above or at the level of the anus.

Two giant nerve fibres, one on the left (diameter: 5-13 µm) and one on the right (3-13 µm) occuring at the attachment of the lateral mesenteries to the body wall.
Longitudinal muscle bundles of bushy type; the mean formula and general formula are respectively:
23 | 22
12 |  9
= 66  and  12-35 |13-27
  4-19 | 5-19
[43-87]   (n= 100 individuals)

Sexual reproduction: hermaphroditic; embryos brooded in two masses on a mucous cord secreted by the nidamental glands of B type (i.e. restricted to the floor of the lophophoral concavity with an extension along the coils of the lophophore on the inner surface of the tentacles); lophophoral organs small.
Asexual reproduction by transverse fission.

Phoronis australis is burrowing in tube-wall of Cerianthids, generally of the genus Cerianthus, from the intertidal zone to abut 40 m depth. The behaviour between both species has been studied by Emig et al. (1972); the association with the cerianthid has been defined as an inquilism based on their relationships : substrate, nutrition and protection. The number of phoronids in a tube-wall may reach 100, in general 20-50 individuals.
Phoronis australis has been found vertically embedded in a sandy substrate in Strait of Lembeh (Sulawesi, Indonesia) by Godfried van Moorsel (ECOSUB) in 2011 - see photos 12-14: thus, the synonymies are confirmed. Recently, Temereva et al. (2016) have also recorded this species in a soft substrate in Vietnam.

Phoronis australis: the distribution is represented below on the map.

Type-locality: Port Jackson, Sydney (Australia)

© Christian C. Emig

Last update: January 16, 2018

Distribution of P. australis

  •  Most recent published diagnoses

    Kim I. & Huys R., 2012. Sabelliphilidae (Copepoda: Cyclopoida) associated with the tube anemone Pachycerianthus maua (Carlgren) and the horseshoe worm Phoronis australis Haswell off New Caledonia. Systematic Parasitology, 83 (1), 51-64.

    Stampar S. N., Emig C. C., Morandini A. C., Kodja G., Balboni A. P. & F. Lang Da Silveira, 2010. Is there any risk in a symbiotic species associating with an endangered one? A case of a phoronid worm growing on a Ceriantheomorphe tube. Cah. Biol. Mar., 51 (2), 205-211.

    Templado J., Calvo M., Moreno D., Flores A., Conde F., Abad R., Rubio J., López-Fé C. M. & M. Ortiz, 2006. Flora y Fauna de la reserva marina y reserva de pesca de la Isla de Alborán. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Secretaría General de Pesca Marítima, Madrid, 269 pp.

  • Emig C. C., Roldán C. & J. M. Viéitez, 2005. Filo Phoronida. In: Fauna Ibérica, vol. 27. Museo de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC Madrid, p. 19-54 & 180-186 & 223-224.
  • Emig C. C., Çinar M. E. & Z. Ergen, 2003. Phoronida from the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 44 (2), 185-190.

    Wirtz P., 2003. New records of marine invertebrates from Saõ Tomé Island (Gulf of Guinea). J. Mar. Biol. Ass.U.K., 83, 4262, 1-2 in press.

    Emig C. C., Roldán & J. M. Viéitez, 2001. Phoronida. In: European Register of Marine Species, a check list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification, Costello M. J., Emblow C. & R. White (eds). Patrimoines Naturels, 50, 324-325.

    Wirtz P., 2001. New records of marine invertebrates from the Cape Verde Islands. Arquipélago. Life and Marine Sciences, 18A, 81-84.   To download an PDF reprint > click here.

    Emig C. C., Roldán C. & J. M. Viéitez, 2000. Foronídeos del litoral luso-español. Phoronida from the Luso-Iberian zone. Boletín de la Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural (Sec. Biol.), 96 (1-2), 77-83.

  • Emig C. C., García Carrascosa A. M., Roldán C. & J. M. Viétiez, 1999. The occurrence in the Chafarinas Islands (S.E. Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean) of four species of Phoronida (Lophophorata) and their distribution in the north-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean areas. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 40 (2), 129-134.
  • References on Phoronis australis

    Fig. 1. Phoronis australis  in about 10 m depth at Tarrafal, northwestern coast of Sao Tiago Island (Cape Verde Islands), the first record of Phoronida in these islands. Copyright Peter Wirtz

    Dr. Peter Wirtz, PO Box 103, P - 9125 Canico, Madeira (Portugal)...
    see also his books and photos


    Fig. 2. Phoronis australis  in Sesimbra near Lisbon (Portugal). Copyright Peter Wirtz

    Phoronis australis - coll. P. Wirtz

    Fig. 3. Phoronis australis  in Lagoa Azul (São Tomé Island), northwest coast, 8 m depth, on large black cerianthid. Copyright Peter Wirtz

    Phoronis australis - coll. P. Wirtz

    Fig. 4. Phoronis australis  in a (Pachy)Cerianthus at Madeira Island , in front of Caniço, at 25 m depth. Copyright Peter Wirtz

    Fig. 5a. Phoronis australis  in a Cerianthus, SW coast of Fulija islet, near Iz Is. (Croatia), at 20 m depth. Copyright Hrvoje Cizmek

    Phoronis australis - coll. Hrvoje Cizmek

    Fig. 5b. Phoronis australis  in a Cerianthus, near Trogir (Croatia), at 3 m depth.
    Copyright Hrvoje Cizmek

    Fig. 6. Phoronis australis in a tube of Cerianthus near Almeria (Spain). Copyright J. M. Vieitez

    Phoronis australis

    ...and more...