Distribution, habitat and threats

Distribution

To date, Osedax mucofloris has only been recorded from 2 whale carcasses in the Swedish fjord Kosterfjord (58° 53.1 N, 11° 06.4 E). 

It may be widespread in the Atlantic, however. The problem is finding whale remains on the sea floor - even if there are a lot of them, they are small relative to the vast expanses of the ocean.

Habitat

O. mucofloris has so far only been found living on the bones of marine mammals, specifically the remains of:

  • a minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata
  • a pilot whale, Globicephala melas

Threats

O. mucofloris has only recently been discovered and it is not yet known if it is under threat. One possibility is that intensive whaling over the last 300 years has reduced the available habitat for this polychaete worm, a previously unknown consequence of the whaling industry.