Worms generally living in mud or rock crevices. Body more or less cylindrical, usually tapering at each end. Prostomium without antennae, often with an overlapping dorsal extension.
Peristomium limited to lips, with two or more palps.
First three segments without parapodia and chaetae, often fused. Parapodia biramous with slender dorsal gills, at least on anterior segments. The gill-filaments are contractile, protruding from mud or crevice and often all that can be seen of the animal. Tentacular, dorsal and ventral cirri absent. Chaetae smooth or ornamented capillaries and distally dentate or curved spines. Pygidium without cirri (Cirratulidae).
After: Fauchald and Rouse, 1997 and Hayward and Ryland, 1990.
For identification to species level, jump to the Picture key: Page 381: Cirratulidae
The following taxa of this family occur in the region: