Vestimentiferans (Pogonophora) in the Pacific and Indian Oceans: a new genus from Lihir Island (Papua New Guinea) and the Java Trench, with the first report of Arcovestia ivanovi from the North Fiji Basin Academic Article uri icon


  • Explorations by the German Research Vessel Sonne in the fore-arc and back-arc basins of the western Pacific Ocean have collected vestimentiferan tube worms from both warm vent and cold seep sites. Edison Seamount is a small volcanic cone on the southern flank of Lihir Island, in the Tabar-Feni island chain. Beds of vesicomyid clams on the summit (1450 m depth) are associated with hydrothermal effluent, whereas an uplifted scarp (1600 m depth) nearby is covered by low temperature gas-rich sediments. A methane anomaly has been detected in the water column above the scarp. The benthic fauna includes vestimentiferan tubeworms and bathymodiolid mussels. Bottom photographs show that the vestimentiferans occur singly or in small groups. Four specimens were collected by TV-guided grab. They are described as a new species of a new genus, related to the cold-seep genus Escarpia, of the family Escarpiidae. A single specimen obtained from the landward slope of the Java Trench (1500 m) is identified as the same species, extending its area of distribution by some 6000 km westward. Arcovestia ivanovi, already known from hydrothermal vents in the Manus Basin, has now been obtained from a hydrothermal site in the North Fiji Basin.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Southward, E. C., Schulze, A., & Tunnicliffe, V.

citation count

  • 22

publication date

  • June 2002