Scolelepis squamata larvae    


Sea Ice Benthic Larvae

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In nearshore and shallow waters (depth <50m) larvae and juveniles of benthic organisms such as polychaetes and gastropods can contribute to the sea-ice community seasonally. These larvae feed on the ice algae, protists or other small invertebrates in habiting the sea ice. As they mature (or the ice melts) they migrate back to the seafloor.

Benthic larvae occur in high numbers in coastal fast ice in the Arctic, and to a lesser degree in Antarctic sea ice over the relatively deep shelf. Most species cannot be identified, because larval and juvenile stages do not have all distinguishing features, but the polychaete Scolelepis squamata is a common taxon in coastal fast ice in at least the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

Page Author: Bodil Bluhm & Russ Hopcroft
Created: Feb 10, 2009

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