Scolelepis squamata   (Muller,  1806) (Marine Worm)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Polychaeta

Size: Length 55-75 mm, with around 200 segments.

Color: Bluish green; the gills are red.

Prostomium pointed anteriorly with six eyes in a row and a well developed occipital ridge extending up to setiger 2. Notopodial lamellae fused with branchiae anteriorly, auricular and remaining free posteriorly. Bidentate neuropodial hooded hooks from setiger 30-35 onwards, notopodial hooks appearing more posteriorly. Although spionids generally are considered deposit feeders, Scolelepis squamata almost exclusively acts as a suspension feeder, using its long palps to catch floating particles.

The larvae of this species have been recorded from March to July, with highest numbers in May-July. Fertilization is external and the larva is free-swimming for approximately five weeks before it settles.

This species closely resembles Scolelepis bonnieri, but differs from that species by the median antennae, which forms a low ridge without a free tip, and the gills, which are free of the upper parapodial lobes in the hind region of the body.

Synonym (s)
Lumbricus squamatus Muller, 1806
Lumbricus cirratulus Delle Chiaje, 1831
(Heterotypic synonym)
Lumbricus squamatus Muller, 1806
(Homotypic synonym)
Nereis foliata Dalyell, 1853
(Heterotypic synonym)
Nerine agilis Verrill, 1873
(Heterotypic synonym)
Nerine capensis McIntosh, 1924
(Heterotypic synonym)
Nerine cirratulus (Delle Chiaje, 1831)
Nerine cirratulus chilensis Hartmann-Schröder, 1962
(Heterotypic synonym)
Nerine heteropoda Webster, 1879
(Heterotypic synonym)
Nerine minuta Treadwell, 1939
(Heterotypic synonym)
Nerinides agilis (Verrill, 1873)
(Homotypic synonym)
Nerinides goodbodyi Jones, 1962
(Heterotypic synonym)
Scolelepis agilis (Verrill, 1873)
(Heterotypic synonym)
Nerine cirratulus Fauvel, 1927
Scolelepis squamata Day, 1967

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Sandy, Muddy


• Orissa, Rushikulya Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake (Lat: 13.67) (Long: 80.17) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA (Record: 15/03/1983)
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA
• Southwest Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Porto Novo INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • (1995) Hugali Matla estuary: West Bengal ZSI, Kolkatta 1-542
  • (2001) Fauna of Godavari estuary, Andhra Pradesh Estuarine ecosystem series 4 ZSI, Kolkata 1-166 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Chandrasekhara, G and Mishra, A (1986) The meiofauna and macrofauna of Digha beach, West Bengal, India Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata 83(3-4) Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Khan, AS and Murugesan, P (2005) Polychaete diversity in Indian estuaries Indian Journal of Marine Sciences National Institute of Science Communication And Information Resources, CSIR, New Delhi, India, in association with Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, INDIA 34(1) 114-119 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Misra, A and Chakraborty, RK (1991) Annelida: Polychaeta State fauna series 2: Fauna of Lakshadweep ZSI, Calcutta 137-165 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Srikrishnadhas, B; Murugesan, P and Khan, SA (1998) Polychaetes of Parangipettai coast Annamalai University, Parangipettai 110 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jayaraj, KA; Sheeba, P; Jacob, J; Revichandran, C; Arun, PK; Praseeda, KS; Nisha, PA and Rasheed, KA (2007) Response of infaunal macrobenthos to the sediment granulometry in a tropical continental margin-southwest coast of India Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science Elsevier 77(4) 743-754 Available at -
  • Srikrishnadhas, B; Ramamoorthi, K and Balasubrahmanyan, K (1987) Polychaetes of Porto Novo waters Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The marine biological association of India 29(1&2) 134-139 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-04-13

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