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(Linnaeus, 1767)

Body long and slender with a gradually tapering posterior half. Prostomium long, rather triangular. Eyes medium-sized. Proximal part of proboscis with twelve longitudinal rows of 6-8 (rarely 9) papillae, six rows on each side. Distal part with six more or less prominent rows of tubercles. Terminal ring of about 16-18 papillae. Segment 1 not visible dorsally. Tentacular cirri of segment 1 reaching about segment 5-6. Dorsal and ventral tentacular cirri of segment 2 reaching about segment 8 and segment 5 respectively. Dorsal tentacular cirri of segment 3 reaching about segment 7-8. Aciculae in all tentacular cirri except those of segment 1. Chaetae present from segment 3. Dorsal cirri of median segments rectangular. Parapodial lobes rounded. Ventral cirri longer than parapodial lobes, oval. Pygidial cirri about 5 times as long as broad (P. maculata-detail).

Up to 100 mm for 250 segments.

Prostomium without conspicuous dark pigmentation. Segment 1 (which can only be seen ventrally) unpigmented. Segment 2 dorsally unpigmented or slightly pigmented near posterior border. Segment 3 and 4 with dark pigment, forming conspicuous bands across dorsum. Tentacular cirri often with dark spots subdistally. Dark spots centred on pseudosegmented areas on dorsum of segment 5 and more posterior segments. Additional pigmentation dorso-laterally on each segment, on cirrophores of dorsal cirri, and in centre of dorsal cirri. Yellow pigment on posterior part of prostomium and between mid-dorsal spots, more conspicuous posteriorly. Eyes dark reddish brown. Dark pigmentation usually well retained in preserved animals, yellow pigmentation disappears.

Common on rock, shell gravel and sand, from the shore to 400 m.

Due to possible confusion with other species, especially Phyllodoce mucosa , the full distribution range cannot be determined at present. Arctic, North Atlantic, English Channel, North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat Öresund up to West Baltic.

P. maculata is easily confused with Phyllodoce mucosa and several characters should always be checked for correct determinations.

Phyllodoce maculata