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Golfingia margaritacea margaritacea (Sars, 1851)

A common cosmopolitan species dwelling in mud and sand/gravel bottoms

Golfingia margaritacea

Golfingia margaritacea internal view
Sipunculus margaritaceus Sars, 1851
Phascolosoma margaritaceum Danielssen and Koren, 1877

Distinguishing characteristics
Four retractor muscles present.
Hooks absent.
Many cuticular bodies and papillae on the skin. The latter are the most distinct on the posterior end of the trunk.
Up to 24 slender, flattened tentacles, but most specimens have only 8 to 16 arranged in a single circle around the mouth.
Species with wide morphological variability, especially in case of large specimens showing the greatest morphological variations, especially in the appearance and structure of the skin.

Juvenile: total length of 6 mm
Common trunk length: 10-30 mm
Maximum trunk length: up to 150 mm

From light to medium brown

Inhabits sand and mud

Deposit feeder

Life cycle
Probably trochophore larva

More Biology & Ecology
Golfingia margaritacea, found in very high numbers and significant biomass, may be an important food source for higher trophic levels fauna in Svalbard fjords. This species is an important part of the diet of the fish (Gadiformes, Scorpaeniformes, Pleuronectiformes) as well as of several sea stars and some gastropods in the Barents Sea, Greenland Sea and Alaska.

Very widely distributed; known from depths of 1-5300 m, but mainly from depths less than 300 m. Found in all sectors of the Atlantic, Antarctic and Arctic oceans.