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Polydora cornuta
Image courtesy of Erica Keppel, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Polydora cornuta
Taxonomic Group: Annelids-Polychaetes


'Polydora cornuta' is a species complex of tube-building estuarine and marine polychaetes. It has a global distribution and its definite native range is not known. It was first described from South Carolina and subsequently found spanning the East coast from Canada to Mexico. It is thought to be introduced to the Black and Mediterranean Seas, the Southwestern Atlantic (Brazil-Argentina), the Northeast Pacific (British Columbia to Mexico), the Northwest Pacific (China-Russia), and the Southwest Pacific (Australia-New Zealand). It occurs both in fouling communities and muddy sea floors, but is unable to bore into calcareous substrata. Populations around the world show small differences in morphology and substantial differences in size which may indicate both genetic and environmental differences. Molecular studies are needed to untangle the taxonomy, biogeography, and invasion history of this group.

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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
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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