information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A bristleworm (Scoloplos armiger)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.
Only coastal and marine records shown



Scoloplos armiger reaches lengths of 12 cm with 200 or more body segments. The front region of the body is swollen and sharply pointed, giving the head a cone-shaped appearance. The eyes are not easily detectable. Gills occur dorsally from segments 9 to 17 onwards and the tip of the posterior has 2 long cirri. Scoloplos armiger is red or reddish brown in colour, and has prominent red blood vessels running down the length of the body.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widely distributed around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution



Occurs on the low shore and shallow sublittoral in fine, muddy sand, often amongst seagrasses. May be found in the lower reaches of estuaries.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Red to bright orange-pink in colour.
  • Sharply pointed, cone-shaped head.
  • Up to 12 cm in length with 200 or more body segments.
  • The posterior has 2 long cirri.
  • Prominent red blood vessels.

Additional information


Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

Search on:



    This review can be cited as:

    Ballerstedt, S. 2005. Scoloplos armiger A bristleworm. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-08-2018]. Available from:

    Last Updated: 27/10/2005