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A new method to determine the reproductive condition in female tubeworms tested in Seepiophila jonesi (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae: Vestimentifera)

  • Ana Hilário (a1) (a2), Paul A. Tyler (a1) and David W. Pond (a3)


Vestimentiferan tubeworms are significant members of deep-sea chemosynthetically-driven communities, including hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. The reproductive condition in this taxon is rarely studied because of sampling constraints inherent to these environments, and the lack of a simple methodology to quantify gonad development in vestimentiferans.

We demonstrate that the amount of gonad found in the first 10 mm of trunk can be used as representative of the reproductive condition of the individual, and we establish a linear relationship between the amount of gonad and the proportion of wax ester in the trunk of female vestimentiferans. This relationship represents a new method for the determination of the reproductive condition in this group.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Ana HilárioCESAM, Departamento de Biologia Universidade de AveiroCampus Universitário de Santiago 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal email:


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A new method to determine the reproductive condition in female tubeworms tested in Seepiophila jonesi (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae: Vestimentifera)

  • Ana Hilário (a1) (a2), Paul A. Tyler (a1) and David W. Pond (a3)


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