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(Fabricius, 1780)

Description:
Body long, cylindrical, rather fragile, narrowing at each end, broader anteriorly. Capable of considerable expansion and contraction.
Prostomium conical, as long as broad, with two small eyes ventrally and with two nuchal organs behind eyes.
Thorax with 9 chaetigers.
Gills absent.
First 6-7 segments with capillary chaetae only, 7th segment with both capillary chaetae and hooks and segment 8-9 and following segments with hooks only.
A single genital pore opens mid-dorsally between chaetigers 8 and 9, in the female an oval swelling, in the male in the middle of four stout chaetae (genital spines or genital hooks) arranged in a diagonal cross.
(C. capitata-detail).
Pygidium without cirri.

Size:
Up to 120 mm for 100 segments.

Colour:
Red-brown to purple, in alcohol red-brown to transparent.

Habitat:
From eulittoral down to 1000 m deep. In muddy sand or rich mud and under stones. Often indicates pollutes conditions.

Distribution:
Cosmopolitan, North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat.

Capitella capitata