Comprehensive Description

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 Aphelochaeta marioni is a thin, thread like, segmented worm. The fifth segment bears a pair of grooved tentacles, or palps, which are used for deposit feeding. The palps, which are tightly coiled when retracted, are approximately equal in length to the body. Numerous filamentous cirri, which act as gills, are arranged in pairs on each of the segments of the anterior half of the body. The bristles (chaetae) are very fine and hair like. Aphelochaeta marioni is reddish-brown in colour and typically between 20 and 35 mm in length, although individuals can reach 100 mm in length.The name change from Tharyx marioni to Aphelochaeta marioni occurred recently and some authors still use the previous name. Therefore, care should be taken when searching the literature on this species. In this review, where the species was researched under the former name, the species name is given as Aphelochaeta marioni (studied as Tharyx marioni). Aphelochaeta marioni is very difficult to identify (Mike Kendall, pers. comm.) and some authors (e.g. Farke, 1979) have commented that specimens that have been the subject of published research may have been misidentified.


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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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