Pogonophora (Annelida): form and function Academic Article uri icon


  • Pogonophora, also known as Siboglinidae, are tube-dwelling marine annelids. They rely on endosymbiotic chemoautotrophic bacteria for nutrition and their anatomy and physiology are adapted to their need to obtain both oxygen and reduced sulphur compounds. Frenulate pogonophores are generally long and slender, sediment-living tubeworms; vestimentiferans are stouter, inhabitants of hydrothermal vents and cool seeps; and moniliferans or sclerolinids are very slender inhabitants of decaying wood and sulphidic sediments. The anatomy and ultrastructure of the three groups are compared and recent publications are reviewed. Annelid characters are the presence of chaetae and septa, concentrated at the hind end. The adaptations to a specialised way of life include, in particular, the chitinous tube; the anterior appendages that function as gills; the internal tissue called the trophosome, where the endosymbiotic bacteria live; and the blood vascular system that transports oxygen, sulphide and carbon dioxide to the trophosome. © Springer 2005.

author list (cited authors)

  • Southward, E. C., Schulze, A., & Gardiner, S. L.

citation count

  • 56

publication date

  • March 2005