Küstenbiologie - Coastal Biology

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Shipworm biology nomen est omen?

nomen est omen?

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In Germany we have three species of shipworms ("Teredinidae"), according to the literature:

  1. Teredo navalis
  2. Psiloteredo megotara
  3. Nototeredo norvagica
Additionally, warm water species sometimes appear with driftwood. Due to climate change and globalisation it is to be expected, that those species may one day be able to establish themselves in the North Sea. Lyrodus pedicellatus is a candidate, having damaged ancient shipwrecks in the south of England already.
Even though Teredo navalis is called "Schiffsbohrwurm" in German and naval shipworm (or common shipworm) in English, the name is misleading, because this species is more numerous in wooden constructions at the coast like bridges, pilings, dyke gates or pilings. So the Dutch "paalworm" and Danish "Pæleorm" fit much better.
In contrast, Psiloteredo megotara, the big-eared shipworm, was more often found in wooden fishing vessels in the North Sea. The "norwegian shipworm" Nototeredo norvagica is another widespread species, not only appearing in nordic waters, but also in the Mediterranean.
Still, T. navalis is by far the most adaptive and widespread species.
Last Updated on Monday, 13 December 2010 00:20