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(Rathke, 1799)

Somewhat similar to Lineus ruber in appearance, Lineus sanguineus is up to about 10-20 cm in length but possesses a much more slender body. On the head, the 4-6 eyes on each side are rather further back than in Lineus ruber and more regularly arranged (L. sanguineus-head). The colour varies from a bright reddish-brown to a dull mid-brown, frequently the posterior and ventral regions appearing paler. The species is readily distinguished from Lineus ruber by its behaviour when disturbed, contracting in a tight coil. The species possesses well-developed powers of regeneration. Dermis without distinct connective tissue layer. Proboscis with two muscle layers and two muscle crosses. Body wall musculature with slender diagonal layer.

Found intertidally beneath rocks and stones embedded in muddy sediments from the mid-tide level downwards, often in muds blackened by decaying organic matter.

The known geographic range extends from the British Isles to the coasts of Sweden, Belgium and France, though a wider distribution may be masked by the problems of synonymity.

Lineus sanguineus