epitoke

epitoke

[′ep·ə‚tōk]
(invertebrate zoology)
The posterior portion of marine polychaetes; contains the gonads.
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Diglycidylether of Bisphenol A (DGEBA), Epitoke Resin 828 from Hexion Specialty Chemicals (epoxy equivalent = 187 g/eq) was used after drying under vacuum during 4 h at 80[degrees]C; 4-toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI), 10-undecenoyl chloride, and 4-pentenoyl chloride from Aldrich were distilled before using.
During a palolo swarm, only the gonads are present, the reproductive organs, called epitokes, break off the main body of the worm, which stays in its coral home.
People go out into the ocean to collect the epitokes, which are the yolky egg-filled posterior ends shed by the spawning females.
As the day wanes, the epitokes accumulate in enormous, tangled masses near the shores of the Melanesian islands.
One Torres man explained that this taboo probably derived from the common-sense fact that if one steps into the ocean at this time it is possible to get bitten by the numerous fish, including barracuda and moray eels, that come close to shore in order to feed on the masses of epitokes.
Samoans, who consider the epitokes a delicacy, gather in large numbers (up to 1,000's) at midnight of the predicted night of emergence to collect the epitokes using scoop nets or long lengths of screen.