MarLIN

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

A polychaete (Scalibregma inflatum)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A segmented worm with between 30 and 60 subdivided segments and a small head with two anterior lateral projections forming a T shape. The body is 5-10 cm long and wrinkled in appearance. Scalibregma inflatum is swollen anteriorly and then becomes slender towards the rear. Purplish red with yellow blotches it has four pairs of branching gills present on the second to fifth segments.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widespread around the UK, few records for Ireland.

Global distribution

From the Arctic all around Britain to the Atlantic coast of Europe.

Habitat

Found around low water mark and in the shallow sublittoral, buried deep in sand or mud.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Body 5-10 cm long.
  • Swollen at the front, becoming slender towards the rear.
  • The head has two anterior lateral projections forming a T shape.
  • Four pairs of branching gills present on the second to fifth segments.
  • From about segment 16, finger-like dorsal and ventral cirri present.
  • The posterior end bears four or five thread-like cirri.
  • Purplish red with yellow blotches.

Additional information

Scalibregmatidae (sometimes called maggot worms) are not routinely encountered, although they can occur in huge numbers in shallow waters in northern Europe. More often, they occur in muddy sediments at more than 1000 m depth. They are active burrowers and feed on detritus in sediment and never form tubes.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. Pleijel, F. & Dales, R.P., 1991. Polychaetes: British Phyllodocoideans, Typhloscolecoideans and Tomopteroideans. Oegstgeest, The Netherlands: U.B.S./Dr. W. Backhuys. [Synopsis of the British Fauna No. 45.]

  5. Rouse, G.W. & Pleijel, F., 2001. Polychaetes. New York: Oxford University Press.

  6. Stachowitsch, M., 1992. The invertebrates: an illustrated glossary. USA: Wiley-Liss.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Snowden, E. 2008. Scalibregma inflatum A polychaete. 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. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2185

Last Updated: 17/04/2008