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Malmgren, 1867

Scale worms

The body may be elliptical or linear. Prostomium with 0-3 antennae and a pair of palps. The palps are fused to first segment. The presence and position of insertion of the lateral antennae onto the prostomium form important characters for specific identification. Two pairs of sessile eyes present. Facial tubercle usually absent. Pharynx eversible with two pairs of jaws.
Peristomium limited to lips.
First segment curved around prostomium, with two pairs of tentacular cirri and usually with very small parapodia with neuropodia fused to lower side of head.
Parapodia are biramous. The acicula supporting the neuropodium is pointed. Chaetae are variously ornamented capillaries. Dorsal cirri and scales alternate at least in anterior end. Nephridial papillae situated postero-ventrally at the base of neuropodia. Scales may be absent on posterior segments in longer species. Ventral cirri present.
Pygidium with one pair of cirri (Polynoidae).
The Polynoidae are reported to be mobile carnivorous polychaetes. The sexes are separate. Mating and external fertilisation occur, the gametes being released through elongated nephridial papillae. Many scale-worms are found in the "undergrowth" of algae, sponges, hydroids, etc. present on many hard marine bottoms, or under empty shells of dead bivalve molluscs. Some are found occasionally in the tubes or burrows of other animals, or directly on their bodies (it is difficult to say whether this is form of commensalism, mutualism or parasitism). Found in all seas from the littoral zone to hadal depths.

After: Fauchald and Rouse, 1997 and Chambers and Muir, 1997.

For identification to species level, jump to the Picture key: Page 9: Polynoidae

The following taxa of this family occur in the region:

Genus Acanthicolepis
Genus Antinoe
Genus Adyte
Genus Alentia
Genus Bylgides
Genus Austrolaenilla
Genus Diplaconotum
Genus Enipo
Genus Eucranta
Genus Eunoe
Genus Gattyana
Genus Harmothoe
Genus Lepidonotus
Genus Leucia
Genus Malmgrenia
Genus Neopolynoe
Genus Polynoe
Acanthicolepis asperrima
Adyte pellucida
Alentia gelatinosa
Antinoe finmarchica
Austrolaenilla mollis
Bylgides elegans
Bylgides groenlandicus
Bylgides sarsi
Diplaconotum paucidentatum
Enipo elisabethae
Enipo kinbergi
Eucranta villosa
Eunoe nodosa
Gattyana amondseni
Gattyana cirrosa
Harmothoe antilopes
Harmothoe aspera
Harmothoe borealis
Harmothoe extenuata
Harmothoe fragilis
Harmothoe imbricata
Harmothoe impar
Harmothoe pagenstecheri
Harmothoe spinifera
Harmothoe viridis
Lepidonotus clava
Lepidonotus squamatus
Leucia nivea
Malmgrenia andreapolis
Malmgrenia arenicolae
Malmgrenia castanea
Malmgrenia furcosetosa
Malmgrenia glabra
Malmgrenia ljungmani
Malmgrenia lunulata
Malmgrenia marphysae
Malmgrenia mcintoshi
Neopolynoe paradoxa
Polynoe scolopendrina

Family Polynoidae