Girl grabbed on the way to the ball

Dr Ruth Barnich, our Principal Taxonomist, has shared with us one of her findings from a current project, assessing benthic samples from the Southern North Sea near a gas gathering platform for our client, Gardline.

The animal is a nereid polychaete, and is a female in a reproductive stage which is known as the “heteronereis” phase. This is an interesting find because animals at this stage are rarely found in benthic samples. Normally, by the time they have developed to the heteronereis stage, they have swarmed away from the ocean floor, and up into the water column, to begin the breeding process. Possibly this female was preparing to swarm as she was grabbed.

As an adaptation for their pelagic swarming behaviour, heteronereids have enlarged sensory organs, such as very large eyes as shown in the image, and modified parapodia allowing for improved swimming.

Thomson Ecology Handbook

This online version of the Thomson Ecology Handbook provides a general overview of current wildlife legislation* and is aimed at helping project managers understand and plan for ecology from the start.

Find out more

Stay Up to Date

Staying up to date with the latest environmental and ecological requirements is key to your project. Whether it’s the latest copy of the Thomson Ecology Handbook, a timely legislation update, or guidance on the latest seasonal activities, we want to provide you with relevant information, straight to your inbox.

Sign up for our email newsletter below.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.