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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
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Saint-Joseph, 1887

Prostomium rounded with four eyes, in a trapezoid arrangement. Palps hardly visible dorsally. Median antenna a little longer than lateral ones. Lateral antennae often 4x as long as prostomium.
Dorsal tentacular cirri about as long as lateral antennae, ventral at most half that size. Dorsal cirri of first segment the longest, a little longer than median antenna. Dorsal cirri of second segment often longer than others. All other dorsal cirri short, even shorter than half the length of segment width. Blades of compound chaetae bidentate, secondary tooth larger than terminal tooth (A. edwardsi-detail). Additionally a needle-shaped chaeta with serrated shaft. Pharynx with a twist. Trepan with 21-38 teeth.

Body up to 7 mm long for 49 segments.

Anterior body reddish-brown or dorsolaterally with an orange-red longitudinal line. Tips of anterior appendages red.

Between seaweeds, hydroids and Laminaria; also in mucus-tubes on seaweeds. Sometimes in muddy bottoms. From eulittoral down to 40 m deep.

Eastern North Atlantic, Mediterranean, English Channel, southern North Sea and Skagerrak, Kattegat up to Öresund.

Hamond (1969) thought it "probable that in Norfolk waters both the intertidal and the offshore Autolytus of the brachycephalus-prolifer-edwardsi complex form a single, very variable but reproductively homogenous, population".

Autolytus edwarsi