Welcome to Vermetus.org — a website intended as a gateway to information about marine “worm-snails.” Worm-snails are sessile snails (gastropods) with uncoiled and usually firmly attached shells belonging to several different groups, the Siliquariidae (slit worm-snails), Turritellidae (turret shells, with uncoiling members such as genus Vermicularia), and — especially — the family Vermetidae (true worm-snails), the latter a special focus of an ongoing research project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

 

Petaloconchus varians

Living specimens of the vermetid worm-snail Petaloconchus varians. Note the slime threads attached to the mouth of the specimen in the lower center; the animal is feeding on the trapped particles (photographed by R. Bieler in Ft. Pierce, Florida, USA)

Vermetus — What’s in a name?

Vermetus” is the genus that gave name to the family Vermetidae, our main study group. Over the centuries it served as a catchall name for many hundreds of different animals in this confusing complex of worm-like species. Untangling and organizing “Vermetus” — vermetus.org — seemed an appropriate name for our endeavour.

Vermetus.org is organized in three levels of access

The public site (the one you are looking at right now) will showcase images, news, summaries of species descriptions etc. of use to aquarists, scuba divers, shell enthusiasts, marine park managers, and other “non-specialist” users. This part is under active development — whenever we have available images, have figured out species identities and published associated names in the formal literature, these data will be released in this publicly accessible part.

Vermetus Central is a “private” (password-protected) level of access for bona fide researchers in this field. A surprising number of laboratories and individual researchers deal with morphological, ecological, or molecular aspects of these peculiar animals. Vermetus Central allows us to share and discuss unpublished data before they are ready for the limelight and is a stage for developing scientific collaborations. If you are involved in such a scientific project and are not yet part of Vermetus Central, please contact us.

Vermetus Intranet is a more restrictive level of access, providing a private site for the core team of the current REVSYS grant project. It hosts our “workshop” and file storage, a space for shared work files, raw images, etc.

What can you do?

If you have questions, comments, or images to share (always welcome!) please use the “Feedback & Questions” link.