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Malmgren, 1867

The body is linear, usually long. Nephridial papillae not seen. Prostomium truncate, with one, two or three antennae and two palps. The median antenna, if present, may have a pair of flaps (auricles) at the sides of the ceratophore. The lateral antennae, if present, may be attached to the anterior margin of the prostomium or may be reduced in size and apparently attached to the dorsal surface of the forwardly directed peristomium. Eyes sessile or absent.
Peristomium with numerous chaetae, with or without lateral antennae and a pair of dorsal cirri. Facial tubercle present or absent.
Scales present on chaetigers 1, 3, 4 and then every second segment anteriorly and on all segments posteriorly.
Parapodia biramous with neuropodia longer than notopodia. Chaetae variously ornamented capillaries and compounds. Dorsal cirri alternating with scales in anterior end. Ventral cirri present. Ctenidia, small ciliated pads, are found on notopodia and sometimes on other parts of the body (often difficult to see under a low power microscope). Parapodia may terminate in large papillae (stylodes), which may have smaller papillae upon their surfaces.
Pygidium with one pair of cirri (Sigalionidae).
Pharynx eversible, with terminal papillae and two pairs of jaws.
The Sigalionidae are said to be mobile, carnivorous polychaetes. Little is known about the biology and ecology of this widely distributed family.

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

For identification to species level, jump to the Picture key: Page 43

The following taxa of this family occur in the region:

Genus Neoleanira
Genus Sigalion
Genus Sthenelais
Neoleanira tetragona
Sigalion mathildae
Sthenelais boa
Sthenelais jeffreysii
Sthenelais limicola
Sthenelais zetlandica

Family Sigalionidae