General Feature

   Eunicidae are among the largest polychaetes. Most of them are found in shallow, rocky habitats. They are considered to be carnivores. Some species live in tubes; others burrow in limestone.    

  Most Eunicidae are vermiform and elongated in body shape.

eunicidae7.jpg (19534 bytes)


eunicidae2marphysa.jpg (32004 bytes)Whole segment



   Prostomium has 1-5 occipital antennae.

   Palps are variable in different species. They can be of digitiform or globular form, but in most species, the two palps are completely fused one to the other. The anterior margin of the prostomium then appears to be smoothly rounded.

  Muscular pharynx armed with a ventral pair of mandibles and toothed maxillary plates.

eunicidae1marphysa.jpg (22011 bytes)Structure of Prostomium


Euricidae 5.jpg (32626 bytes)Prostomium

 with 5 antennae

Parapodia and Setae 

   Parapodia are uniramous with dorsal cirri. 

   Setae can be simple and compound. They include falcigers, spinigers and acicular setae. Most species have branchia.

eunicidae(S)5Front.jpg (25557 bytes)The 6th parapodia



eunicidae(S)1.jpg (21534 bytes)



The 15th parapodia


eunicidae(S)2.jpg (22222 bytes)Compound setae


  eunicidae(S)3.jpg (14557 bytes)       

 Compound setae




eunicidae(S)4.jpg (30968 bytes)Compound setae   


eunicidae(S)6.jpg (26347 bytes) Simple capillary setae




eunicidaeFront40x.jpg (28495 bytes)Acicular setae


Amphinomidae Dorvilleidae Eunicidae Glyceridae Goniadidae Hesionidae Lumbrineridae Nephytidae Nereidae Onuphidae Phyllodocidae Pilargiidae Polynoidae Sigalionidae

Developed by: P. L. Chan     Last modified: 4 April,00