Comprehensive Description

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External Appearance

(from Coe, W. R. (1905). Nemerteans of the west and northwest coasts of America.. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harv.. 1-318)

General color of body, both above and below, deep brown, chestnut or slaty, with a tinge of green in reflected light, or of plumbago or bluish when seen in shadow; sometimes with reddish tinge, and usually with a soft, velvety sheen. Head with a rosy or chestnut tinge beneath the brown. Posterior extremity very pale in color. Body usually shows a series of transverse and longitudinal yellowish markings on dorsal surface. Transverse markings are the more conspicuous and consist of a series of 40-100 or more lemon yellow rings, the more anterior of which commonly encircle the whole body, while those farther back appear on dorsal surface only. They usually have diamond-shaped thickenings in median line. Markings are much obscured in some specimens and occasionally are almost completely wanting. Most anterior marking is situated at posterior end of cephalic furrows; it is usually much larger and more conspicuous than any of the others, although limited to dorsal surface.

Dorsal surface corrugated with longitudinal flutings, often accentuated by very fine hair-like longitudinal lines of ocher or orange color which extend throughout most of the body. Lines not only very fine and inconspicuous but much interrupted and irregular, usually wavy, and often consisting of rows of elongated dots of color; much interrupted on head, appearing only as rows of very minute dots. Commonly seven to fifteen of the fine lines, of which the one in the median line is the most distinct and connects the transverse, diamond-shaped yellow markings.
Peculiar coloring on tip of head especially characteristic, consisting of a narrow terminal border of white enclosing two oval, orange colored spots imbedded in an area of lemon yellow. Sometimes with a few dark brown dots in the yellow color.

Body black or slaty after preservation, often without indications of the characteristic markings seen in life.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Ritger, Rebecca

Source: Nemertea

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