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Polynoidae is a family of scaled Polychaete worms known as the "scale worms". Short and flat, specimens reach as much as 20 cm in length and 10 cm width in Eulagisca gigantea. An almost-constant number of small segments is the norm. They are active hunters, but generally dwell in protected environments such as under stones.

Unid scale worm.jpg
unidentified scale worm
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Phyllodocida
Family: Polynoidae

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They are covered by scales, technically termed elytra, which can be shed and regenerated as a means of defense. In some cases, such as Lepidonotus squamatus, the scales are faintly bioluminescent, and leave glowing traces around the mouthparts of their predators, making those predators more likely to be attacked in turn.[1]



  1. ^ Frost, Emily; Waters, Hannah (1 July 2015). "14 Fun Facts About Marine Bristle Worms". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  • Brusca, R.C.; Brusca, G.J. (1990). Invertebrates.

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