Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 4 (2006)

Preliminary evidences of circadian fan activity rhythm in Sabella spallanzanii (Gmelin, 1791) (Polychaeta: Sabellidae)

Jacopo Aguzzi
Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC). Barcelona, Spain

Juan José Chiesa
Departament de Fisiologia, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Riccardo Caprioli
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy

Davide Cascione
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy

Giuseppe Magnifico
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy

Valentina Rimatori
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy

Corrado Costa
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy


The fan activity rhythm of Sabella spallanzanii (Gmelin, 1791) and its entrainment capability to light were studied. Animals were tested under constant darkness (DD) followed by two consecutive 24 h light-darkness regimes: a first 11 h light period (LD) and a second 9 h light period, with its phase inverted (DL). An infrared analogical video-camera took shots each 30 s. A number of pictures with open fan were counted every 15 min. In DD a weak free-running periodicity in the circadian range was found, thus reinforcing the matching of the 24 h period under study in both photoperiod regimes. A nocturnal activity was characterised with a consistent anticipation to lightOFF (i.e. entrainment). Moreover, this phase of entrainment differed between DL and LD. The presence of endogenous activity rhythm with a variable phase angle of entrainment is a distinctive feature of circadian pacemakers.


Sabella spallanzanii; fan activity; circadian rhythms; entrainment

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