Phoronis psammophila Cori, 1889

Larva: Actinotrocha sabatieri Roule, 1890


Phoronis sabatieri Roule, 1890

Phoronis architecta Andrews, 1890

? Phoronis euxinicola Selys-Longchamps, 1907

° References of the most recent published diagnoses


Last update: July 22, 2006  

Extended specimens up to 190 mm long, diameter 0.5-2 mm.
Colour in life: body pink, lophophore transparent with white (occasionally yellow, green or red) pigment spots.
Lophophore horseshoe-shaped with ends turned medially. Up to 190 tentacles, length 1.5-2.5 mm.
Nephridia with a single funnel, with descending and ascending branches; nephridiopore on anal papilla opening below anus.
Single giant nerve fibre on left side, 7-27 µm in diameter; very thin nerve fibre rarely present on right side.
Longitudinal muscle bundles of feathery type; the mean formula and general formula are respectively:

12 | 11
 6 |  6
=35  and  7-19 | 7-18
4-11 | 4-11
[24-53]   (n= 3244 individuals)

Sexual reproduction dioecious; females brooding embryos in a single mass in lophophoral cavity through nidamental glands of type C (i.e. formed by fusion of inner row of lophophore tentacles); males with large, glandular lophophoral organs.
Asexual reproduction by transverse fission.

Phoronis psammophila lives in the soft substratum at depths ranging from the intertidal zone to 69 m, commonly between 0 and 10 m. Densities may reach 18,000 to 20,000 ind.m-2. This species particularly prefers a sediment structure mainly composed of fine and very fine sand fractions (58 to 93%), with a moderate muddy fraction (8 to 41%).

Phoronis psammophila is a cosmopolitan species: the distribution is represented below on the map.

Type-locality: Messina (Italia)

© Christian C. Emig

Last update: September 14, 2022

Distribution of P. psammophila

  •  Most recent published diagnoses
  • Emig C. C., 2019. Phoronida and Brachiopoda in the Indian River (Florida, USA). Nouveaux eCrits scientifiques, NeCs_01-2019, p. 1-10.
  • Handbook of alien species in Europe (2009) : Comments on the so-called alien phoronid.

  • 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.

  • Zezina O. N. & S. N. Temereva, 2005. Brachiopoda and Phoronida. In: Biota of the Russian waters of the Sea of Japan, Ed. A. V. Adrianov, vol. 3, 138 p. Dalnauka, Vladivostock.

  • References on Phoronis psammophila

    Fig. 1 - Phoronis psammophila: Espiguette Beach, 1-2 m depth - Le Grau-du-Roi 30240, France.
    Copyright Virginie Zajdel.

    Fig. 2 - Phoronis psammophila: near Zierikzee in Eastern Scheldt (Netherlands), 12 m depth.
    Two male individuals with lophophoral organs - one feeding with opened mouth, below see the junction of rigth and left lophophoral vessels.
    Copyright Peter H van Bragt.