Thursday, September 27, 2018
This volume of Nationalnyckeln, a Swedish biological encyclopedia, is devoted to peanut worms (Sipuncula) and ribbon worms (Nemertea), two groups of marine invertebrates. It covers all species found in Swedish waters: 9 species of sipunculids and 69 species of nemerteans. Or perhaps somewhat more, since the 6 species of the genus Cerebratulus are very different to tell apart even for specialists!
The volume includes the longest known organism, the bootlace worm (Lineus longissimus), a nemertean which can grow to become 50 meters long! Otherwise, I note that the Swedish editors of this volume had a lot of fun inventing vernacular names for the various worms, calling one of them Röd julklappsmask (Red Christmas Worm). Or is that name traditional?
As usual, Nationalnyckeln is fully illustrated in color (!), and contains bilingual (Swedish-English) keys, but the bulk of the book is in Swedish only. The species presentations note both traits important for identification, behavior and range.