|Researched by||Penny Avant||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
The parchment worm Chaetopterus variopedatus is distinctive, large and stout but fragile. It grows up to 25 cm in length and between 1 and 2.5 cm in width. It is yellowish or greenish white in colour with mature females becoming pinkish. The body is divided into three distinct regions, the short anterior end with an inconspicuous head, a mid region with highly specialized feeding structures, and a longer, regularly segmented hind end with repeating appendages. The worms live permanently in tough, flexible tubes of a whitish parchment-like material. The open end is narrow and protrudes slightly from the substratum.
Other species of polychaete may occasionally occupy vacant tubes.
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Last Updated: 21/06/2002