Author: Jones, 1981
General: Highly specialized chemosynthetic vent worm resides in smooth, white tubes with red plume protruding. Heavily vascularized plume is comprised of fine lamellae and split along length. Muscular vestimentum is wing-shaped. Trunk contains large trophosome housing chemo-symbiotic bacteria. Parchment-like tubes are flexible and made of chitinous protein. Tubeworms form clusters on rock and mineral substrate in areas of diffuse venting.
Size: To 1.5 m tall.
Reproduction: Males broadcast sperm, but fertilization occurs within the tube of the female. Trochophore larvae facilitate dispersal to new hydrothermal vent fields. Symbiotic bacteria are acquired from the environment when suitable habitat for settlement has been found.
Habitat description: Benthic. Hydrothermal vents.
Ocean range (global): East Pacific Rise and Galapagos Islands.
Color: Distinctive red plumes and white tubes.
Diet: Nutrition provided by symbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria.
ReferencesEncyclopedia of Life
Tree of Life
World Register of Marine Species
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Cary, S.C., H. Felbeck, and N.D. Holland (1989). Observations on the reproductive biology of the hydrothermal vent tube worm Riftia pachyptila. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 52: 89-94.
Desbruyères, D., M. Segonzac, and M. Bright, ed. (2006). Handbook of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Fauna. 2nd edition. Linz: Denisia, 18, 544 pp.
Jones, Meredith L. (1981). Riftia pachyptila, new genus, new species, the vestimentiferan worm from the Galápagos Rift geothermal vents (Pogonophora. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 93(4): 1295-1313.
Marsh, A.G., L.S. Mullineaux, C.M. Young, and D.T. Manahan (2001). Larval dispersal potential of the tubeworm Riftia pachyptila at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Nature, 411: 77-80. https://doi.org/10.1038/35075063
Citation: Riftia pachyptila (Jones, 1981) Deep-Sea Guide (DSG) at http://dsg/mbari.org/dsg/view/concept/Riftia%20pachyptila. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Consulted on 2023-09-23.