The body is cylindrical, usually elongated and typically worm-like. Parapodia are distinct with a single lobe, notopodia are reduced to dorsal cirrus and few aciculae.
Prostomium anteroventrally continued in paired large upper lips, with up to five antennae and two cushion-like palps.
Peristomium two rings, the second ring with or without a pair of peristomial cirri.
First segment with parapodia similar to following parapodia, without tentacular cirri.
Parapodia biramous. Chaetae capillary and compound. Dorsal and ventral cirri present.
Pygidium with two long cirri and two very short, ventral, peg-like structures.
Pharynx eversible, with a jaw apparatus consisting of two mandibles and seven or nine maxillae (Eunicidae).
Among the eunicids we find species, which crawl about under stones and empty shells and among holdfasts of algae and species which live in permanent burrows or which construct tubes. The tubes are formed by a secretion of the worm. They are papery or parchment-like and may be attached to stones or within crevices of rocks or corals. Most species are omnivorous and live largely on detritus. The eunicids are distributed all over the world but most species are found in tropical and subtropical seas. They occur on various kinds of substratum from soft bottoms to rocky habitats.
For identification to species level, jump to the Picture key: Page 65: Eunicidae
The following taxa of this family occur in the region: