Physical Characteristics

Body elongated and flattened dorso-ventraly, wide pros-tomium, one pair of eyes. They have three antennae, one pair of palps on the head, and dorsal branchial filament tufts that provide them with a blood-red color; the head bears a flattened keel caruncule (structure projecting from the posterior end of the prostomium that carries chemosensory organs called nuchal organs). The parapodia are well developed with different kinds of chaetae and possess calcareous, glassy, hollow harpoon chaetae with neurotoxins that cause discomfort when they contact human skin, thus the reason for common name of "fire worm."

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