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(Linnaeus, 1758)

Description:
The body of this scale-worm is of uniform width. Dorsal and ventral surfaces smooth (L. squamatus-drawing). Prostomium bilobed, with long median and lateral antennae tapering terminally and a pair of smooth palps. Two pairs of eyes, the anterior pair at the extreme lateral edges of prostomium, the posterior pair closer together at the posterior margin. First segment bearing 1-2 chaetae and a pair of dorsal and ventral tentacular cirri in long fused cirrophores. Scales overlap, completely covering the body. The first pair of scales are oval, the remainder oval to kidney-shaped, their margins fringed with long papillae on the outer edge and some on the posterior edge. The surfaces of the scales are covered with large and small conical tubercles (L. squamatus-scale). Notopodia are small mounds with a ventral acicular ligule and numerous chaetae. Notopodial chaetae of two kinds: 1) stout, with rows of spines and blunt tips; 2) long, spinose capillaries. Neuropodia well developed with an anterior acicular ligule and chaetae. Neuropodial chaetae with curved tips and up to 7 rows of small spines below the incurved edge.

Size:
Up to 50 mm for 26 segments.

Colour:
Variable; scales mottled dull brown, yellow or grey usually covered with mud.

Habitat:
Littoral and sublittoral to 2700 m under stones and among undergrowth. Has been found in brackish water.

Distribution:
Northern hemisphere. Whole North Sea, Skagerrak, Kattegat, Öresund and western Baltic Sea.

Lepidonotus squamatus