The Annelid fauna of the northeastern coast of the United States has become so well known through the labors of A. E. Verrill, H. E. Webster, and others, that our ignorance of that of the southern Atlantic States is the more striking by contrast. South of Northampton County, Virginia, where Webster, in 1874 and 1870, obtained some fifty-nine species of Polychaeta, described in his Annelida Chaetapoda of the Virginian coast, but very little has been published respecting the littoral Annelid fauna, though the European descriptions of forms collected in the West Indies, the collection of Professor Goode in Bermuda of twenty-six species, described in the Bulletin of the U. S. National Museum, 1884, and the extensive monograph of Ehlers on the Annelids dredged by the Coast Survey steamer Blake off the Florida coast (Mem. Mus. Com. Zoöl., Harvard, 1887) give a few general grounds for anticipating some of the discoveries to be expected along the shores of the Southern States.
In this region, Charleston Harbor was carefully examined by the French naturalist, L. A. G. Bosc, toward the close of the last century, with the result that several interesting Annelids were made known, among them being the new genus Polydora
. Later Stimpson (Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 1856) described two new Annelids from this same interesting locality, one being the remarkably large Acoetes lupina
. Farther north, at Fort Macon, near Beaufort, North Carolina, Coues and Yarrow collected marine Annelids, nine species of which were described by Verrill in 1878 (Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila.).
In the following list some fifty-seven species, representing twenty-four families of Polychaetous Annelids, are identified and described, with such notes upon breeding, habits, color, etc., as were made at that time, the collection being obtained in connection with the Johns Hopkins Marine Laboratory, Beaufort, North Carolina, in the summer months of 1884 and 1885. As the collection was confined to a short part of the year, was for the most part limited to the area between tides, and not conducted with any great thoroughness, the list must obviously give but an inadequate idea of the richness of the fauna. Reinvestigation would doubtless show the fauna to be as well represented by numerous species, as it obviously is by innumerable individuals, the sand flats presenting a most striking illustration of the wealth of Annelid life that may be supported under the exceptionally favorable conditions here prevailing.
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