Polychaeta: Phyllodocida

Phyllodocida unique characters : Polychaeta with ventrally-positioned sensory palps, with enlarged anterior cirri, with an axial proboscis, with compound chaetae with a single ligament.

Phyllodocida extended diagnosis: Phyllodocida have well defined heads, usually with eyes, short palps and antennae, and may possess additional cirri, especially on the peristomium. The pharynx has an eversible cylindrical proboscis, sometimes with jaws. Parapodia usually have two branches and the lobes are well developed. Chaetae are often compound and usually internal acicula support the parapodial lobes.

Phyllodocida remarks: Large grouping of 'errant' families, probably paraphyletic. The Phyllodocida is the largest grouping of polychaete families. Groups included are: the scale worms of former superfamily Aphroditacea comprising the families Acoetidae, Aphroditidae, Chrysopetalidae, Eulepethidae, Pholoidae, Polynoidae and Sigalionidae; the blood worms of former superfamily Glycerea comprising the Glyceridae and Goniadidae; the nereidid-like worms of former superfamily Nereididacea comprising the Hesionidae, Nereididae, Pilargidae, Sphaerodoridae, Syllidae and two obscure minor families (Nautiliniellidae, Ichthyotomidae); the phyllodocid-like worms of former superfamily Phyllodocidacea comprising Phyllodocidae, Lacydoniidae, and some of the pelagic polychaete families such as Alciopidae, Typhloscolecidae and Tomopteridae. Finally Nephtyidae, the related Paralacydoniidae, and the Pisionidae also belong in Phyllodocida.

Unique character summary modified after Rouse, G.W.; Pleijel, F. (2001). Polychaetes. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 354 p. Rouse and Pleijel divide into Aphroditiformia, Nereidiformia, and several unplaced Phyllodocida, including Phyllodocidae itself and Nephtyidae.

Last modified by G. Read, 21/07/2003 (dd/mm/yy)