Chelura terebrans (Crustacea: Amphipoda) is capable of degrading wood independently of its associate, Limnoria

IRG/WP 92-4180

S M Cragg, G F Daniel

Chelura terebans has been reported to be dependent on the tunnelling activities of Limmmoria. However, this study has shown that Chelura is capable of excavating its own grooves in the surface of blocks of the low density hardwood, balsa (Ochroma lagopus). When reared on blocks of balsa, Chelura ingests small wood particles. These particles often show evidence of degradation due to tunnelling bacteria and, in some cases, soft rot fungi. Such degradation is also evident in the wood being excavated. The wood particles are packed into a cylindrical food-mass in the gut. Rod-shaped faeces still containing recognisable, though degraded, wood particles are produced. The surface of these animals supports a luxuriant flora of bacteria which are particularly numerous around the mouth. This microflora may also play a role in the nutrition of Chelura.


Keywords: CHELURA TEREBRANS; FRASS; LIMNORIA; MARINE BORERS; OCHROMA LAGOPUS; TUNNELLING BACTERIA

Conference: 92-05-10/15 Harrogate, England, UK


Download document (1 Mb)
free for the members of IRG.

Order document from secretariat