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Alitta succinea
Image courtesy of Leslie Harris, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, USA
Alitta succinea
Taxonomic Group: Annelids-Polychaetes
Common name: PILE WORM


Alitta succinea is a large omnivorous polychaete commonly known as a Pile or Clam worm. It was first described from the North Sea coast of Germany, but recent work suggests that the Western Atlantic may be its native range. Until further study has been completed, we have listed Atlantic populations as cryptogenic (i.e. of unknown origin). Introduced populations are known from Western North America, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, China and Australia. This species tolerates a wide range of salinities and occurs in a range of habitats including soft sediments, rocky reefs, oyster beds, seagrass beds and ships’ hulls. It coexists with native nereid worms in its introduced range, but the degree to which native species are affected by competition, or are displaced, is unknown. It is an important prey item for fishes and migratory birds in parts of its native and introduced range.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT. .
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
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