Teredo navalis Linnaeus 1758
Last updated: October 30th, 2006
Common shipworm, naval shipworm.
This mollusc has a wormlike, elongated body and two small shells at the anterior body end acting as wood-boring organ. Larvae are planktotrophic and adults are herbivorous suspension feeders. Individuals are found completely embedded in wood, which is digested with the help of endosymbiotic bacteria. A tiny opening allows water ventilation with two retractable siphons. The tunnels are covered with calcareous substances excreted by the species and may be closed with two calcareous plates.