Polynoids are a very diverse group of benthic marine worms. They are characterised by having simple chaetae both in the noto- and neuropodia, and the dorsum is covered by scales, often brightly pigmented, alternating with dorsal cirri. Because of these scales, they are called scale worms. They are carnivorous or omnivorous and several species are commensal with other organisms.


Polynoidae is a specious family of scale worms widely distributed from shallow intertidal waters down to the deep sea. Polynoids are flattened dorsoventrally. Most species are short but some can reach up to 20 cm in length. Individuals are usually covered almost entirely by scales, also known as elytra. These scales alternate with dorsal cirri for much of the length of the body and are generally ornamented with tubercles or papillae. The species bear simple chaetae in both the noto- and neuropodia.

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Nygren A. Polynoidae Kinberg, 1856. www.artsdatabanken.no/Pages/313951. Downloaded <year-month-day>.