Sternaspis scutata is a stout burrowing worm, whitish-grey in colour, with a leathery texture. Its body is up to 3.5 cm in length and 1-1.5 cm wide. The body is divided into 20-22 segments, the first seven forming the anterior region, the remainder forming the posterior region. The anterior region is much smaller and narrower than the posterior region into which it can withdraw. The head is reduced and bears a small translucent rounded prostomium above the mouth. The first segment behind the head forms a peristomium that is covered by short papillae. Numerous long, slender, occasionally spiralled gills extend from the posterior.
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