Pacific Arctic Benthic Species
This web site was created within Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) project and was financially supported by Polish National Science Centre (project number: DEC-2013/08/M/NZ8/00592).

Golfingia margaritacea (Sars, 1851)

Distinguishing characteristics
Four retractor muscles present.
Hooks absent.
Many cuticular bodies and papillae on the skin. The latter are the most distinct on the posterior end of the trunk.
Up to 24 slender, flattened tentacles, but most specimens have only 8 to 16 arranged in a single circle around the mouth. Species with wide morphological variability, especially in case of large specimens showing the greatest morphological variations, especially in the appearance and structure of the skin.

Juvenile: total length of 6 mm.
Common trunk length: 10-30 mm.
Maximum trunk length: up to 150 mm.

From light to medium brown.

Inhabits sand and mud.

Deposit feeder.

Life cycle
Probably trochophore larva.

More Biology & Ecology
Golfingia margaritacea, found in very high numbers and significant biomass, may be an important food source for higher trophic levels fauna in Svalbard fjords. This species is an important part of the diet of the fish (Gadiformes, Scorpaeniformes, Pleuronectiformes) as well as of several sea stars and some gastropods in the Barents Sea, Greenland Sea and Alaska.

Very widely distributed; known from depths of 1-5300 m, but mainly from depths less than 300 m. Found in all sectors of the Atlantic, Antarctic and Arctic oceans.