Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Segmented Worms (Annelids)
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
In mangroves, polychaetes are the main group of true segmented worms. These worms usually have modified "false feet" on which are attached hairs which are used for movement.

Most of the free-living species are carnivores or scavengers. There are also many sedentary species which build mucus tubes and filter feed.

Tube worms

There are many species of sedentary tube worms in mangroves. These have highly modified feathery structures on their heads which they use for filter feeding, tapping the rich organic soup of the incoming tides.

The Gregarious tube worm (Capitella sp., Family Capitellidae, 4-5 mm) is very common and mats of them appear like hairy rugs on the mud.

The larger Solitary tube worm (Diopatra neapolitana, Family Eunicidae, 8-10 cm) also occurs in the softer mud and may be found with Capitella. Both species build mucus tubes which are covered with mud. Diopatra, however, also adorns its tube with debris of all sorts.

The Keelworm (Pomatoleios sp., Family Serpulidae, 2-3cm) builds tubes of calcium carbonate on hard substrates and even has a small "door" which can use to close the opening!

<<Back to aquatic invertebrates
close-up of tubes
Pomatoleios spp.

magnified close-up of a tube
Diopatra neapolitana

close-up of group of tubes
Capitelia sp.

wide shot of mudflat with tube worms
Mudflat covered with tube worms
What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre