Descriptions of new serpulid polychaetes from the Kimberleys of Australia and discussion of Australian and Indo-West Pacific species of Spirobranchus and superficially similar taxa
In 1988 Pat Hutchings of the Australian Museum, Sydney, undertook an extensive polychaete collection trip off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, where such a survey had not been conducted since Augener's (1914) description of some polychaetes from the region. Serpulids were well represented in the collection, and their present study revealed the existence of two new genera, and new species belonging to the genera Protula, Vermiliopsis, Hydroides, Serpula and Spirobranchus. The synonymy of the difficult genera Spirobranchus, Pomatoceros and Pomatoleios is also dealt with. Certain difficult taxa currently referred to as "species complexes" or "species groups" are discussed. For this purpose it was considered necessary to undertake a comparison of apparently similar species, especially of Spirobranchus, from other locations in Australia and the Indo-West Pacific region. It revealed the existence of many more new species, which are also described and discussed below.