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 A small polychaete worm up to 18 mm in length and usually yellowish or white in colour. The body is divided into two regions, a thoracic and abdominal region along with a prominent head. The anterior end is broad, short, flattened and made up of 14 segments. The posterior is thinner and made up of 12 segments. Each body segment has a lobed shaped body extension on each side called a parapod, used for locomotion. There are no bristles (chaetae) on the parapoda at the posterior end. There are projections of the body wall called branchiae separated into two groups in segments 2-5 of the anterior end. There are four branchiae in each group. The palps, a crown of tentacles from the mouth are used in feeding. There are 6-8 short, stout bristle type structures called paleae, with pointed tips on each side of the anterior end. The paleae may be covered by the branchiae. The last segment of the body has one pair of long, and a number of round, filamentous appendages.Feeds by extending its tentacles across the sediment surface. Mucus secreted by the tentacles traps food which is then carried back to the mouth. Branchiae are used for gas exchange.


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

©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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