Two Species of Fireworms (Annelida: Amphinomidae: Chloeia) from Hong Kong

A new fireworm species, Chloeia bimaculata sp. nov., and a poorly described species, C. parva, are described. The new species C. bimaculata is the fourth named species added to the fireworm genus Chloeia during the last century. It is characterized by having two distinct mid-dorsal dark spots one behind the other on each segment. It can be distinguished from its sympatric species C. parva, which is characterized by having a mid-dorsal “Y”-shaped dark pigment on each segment. Chloeia bimaculata sp. nov. is also distinct from C. parva based on the sequences of several marker genes commonly used in animal taxonomy. This study was prompted by recent outbreaks of fireworm populations, causing panic to local swimmers. The discovery shows how little we know about the biodiversity of these creatures that are very common in reef areas.
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