A peanut worm (Golfingia (Golfingia) vulgaris vulgaris)

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



Golfingia vulgaris, like all sipunculid worms, has an unsegmented body consisting of an introvert and a trunk. The introvert can be withdrawn into the trunk. The mouth, which is on the end of the introvert, is surrounded by up to 60-150 tentacles in three or more circles. The trunk is at least three times as long as it is wide and is slightly shorter than the introvert. The introvert is covered by many dark brown stumpy hooks at the anterior end. These are arranged irregularly. Golfingia vulgaris may reach up to 20 cm in length. It is very variable in colour, from grey to whitish or yellowish brown.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found throughout the British Isles and off north-east Ireland.

Global distribution



Golfingia vulgaris is a benthic species often found in muddy sand or gravel from the low water mark down to depths of several hundred metres.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Up to 20 cm in length.
  • Trunk is pigmented at each end.
  • Up to 60-150 tentacles around the mouth in up to three or more circles.
  • Two pairs of retractor muscles are present.
  • Introvert hooks are slightly bent and arranged irregularly.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -


  1. Cutler, E.B., 1994. The Sipuncula. Their systematics, biology and evolution. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.

  2. Gibbs, P.E., 1986. The taxonomy of some little-known Sipuncula from the North-East Atlantic region including new records. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 66, 335-341

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

  4. 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.]

  5. Stephen, A.C. & Edmonds, S.J., 1972. The Phyla Sipuncula and Echiura. London, Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History).


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-06-23


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Golfingia (Golfingia) vulgaris vulgaris A peanut worm. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 23-06-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/142

Last Updated: 03/06/2008