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(Montagu, 1818)

Description:
Body long, rather soft. Tentacles numerous, short or moderately long. Upper lip low, curving around and dorsally and laterally covering the mouth. Many eyspots. Two pairs of gills (on segments 2 and 3), dichotomous branched with long stems. Anterior gills much longer than the posterior ones. No lateral lobes. 13-17 ventral shields. Notopodial chaetae from segment 4. 17-18 chaetigerous thoracic segments. Uncinigerous tori from segment 5. Uncini in double rows on segments 11-20. Pygidium with smooth edge. Notopodial chaetae smooth, with narrow brims. Uncini with one big and several smaller teeth.

Size:
Up to 70 mm for 70 segments.

Tube:
A thin, transparent layer of secretion encrusted with sand grains and algal fragments.

Colour:
In life orange red, dorsally with white spots, tentacles violet, gills red. In alcohol pale yellow.

Habitat:
On hard bottoms, often with some sand and mud, or among stones, shells, algae or hydroids; upper sublittoral to a depth of about 700 m.

Distribution:
North Atlantic to Senegal, Mediterranean, White Sea, Siberian Arctic, Canadian and Alaskan Arctic, Red Sea, South Africa; East Greenland, Iceland, The Faeroes, Jan Mayen, Svalbard, southern Norway, North Sea, east coast of Great Britain, Swedish west coast, Kattegat, the Öresund and the Belts.

Nicolea venustula