CLASSIFICATION OF TEREDO (SHIPWORM)
KINGDOM :- ANIMALIA (Multicellular eukaryotic organisms)
PHYLUM :- MOLLUSCA (Unsegmented bilaterally symmetrical and provided with visceral mass, foot and mantle.)
CLASS :- PELECYPODA OR BIVALVIA (Bivalve shell.)
ORDER :- MYIDA (Gill filaments united by inter-filament and inter-lamellar junctions.)
FAMILY :- TEREDINIDAE (Saltwater clams with long, soft, naked bodies)
GENUS :- Teredo (SHIPWORM)
The distribution of this boring lamellibranchiate is cosmopolitan because it has been spread every where in the days of specially wooden ships. It is found in India, Europe, Cape Cod to Florida and Massachusetts Bay to Florida.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Teredo burrows inside any wood immersed in sea-water with two siphons emerged for water current and eats cellulose and living microorganisms. The animals live in long burrows in wood or clay, which they form probably by the rasping motion of the shells and then line with the calcareous coating. These worms are primarily filter feeders and consume mostly seston, and not wood. Wood supplements their primary diet and is consumed with the assistance of bacteria inside their [gill] cells. However, wood is not a necessary part of their diet and they can live on the surface of both wooden and non-wooden structures
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF TEREDO (SHIPWORM)
- Commonly called as shipworm.
- Highly specialized lamellibranch.
- Cylindrical body elongated anteriorly.
- There are two reduced shell valves which serve as effective cutting and boring organs reducing the wood to saw dust.
- Two mantle lobes enclosing a mantle and ctenidia are tubular elongated and produced into inhalent and exhalent siphons. Two siphons are united for the most part and are separated at a point called pallet.
- Pallets act as operculum.
- Mantle cavity contains a pair of ctenidia.
- Animal feeds on saw dust and planktonic organism through ciliary action of ctenidia.
- Animal can digest cellulose and lignin.
Teredo causes tremendous damage to the ships and the rock. Their burrows usually follow the grains of the wood, but not always, and usually do not run into one another. A Dutch scientist G. Snellius (1773) extensively studied about the damage done by above worm.
The animal contains shell valves as teeth and all above features, hence, it is Teredo.