Comprehensive Description

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External Appearance

(from Coe, W. R. (1905). Nemerteans of the west and northwest coasts of America.. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harv.. 1-318)
General color of body deep chestnut brown, reddish brown, slaty brown, purplish brown, brownish black, or occasionally dark drab, the shade varying considerably in different parts of the body, and usually having more or less of a grayish tinge. Sometimes chocolate brown in esophageal region, and much paler brown with shades of reddish or buff posteriorly.
Color of underside of body much like that of dorsal surface, but usually paler and more grayish. Ripe ova impart a decided shade of buff to intestinal region. In the darker individuals ventral is nearly as dark as dorsal surface, but the paler individuals are light drab or grayish beneath.
Head bordered anteriorly by a narrow terminal band of white, which extends back along the borders of cephalic slits, sometimes to their posterior ends both above and below, so that when the slits are open they appear white in color. White terminal border narrower on ventral than on dorsal surface and less conspicuous owing to paler color of the ventral surface. Head often paler brown in front of brain, deeper brown anteriorly next the white terminal border, and lighter red in brain region from the rosy coloring of this organ.
Body encircled at irregular intervals through out most of its length by a series of very fine white rings. These rings occasionally show slight thickenings in the dorsal median line and often lie in slight annular grooves or constrictions.First ring situated about as far behind brain as is brain fro m tip of snout. Succeeding rings commonly separated from each other by about the diameter of the body in ordinary states of contraction.
Anteriorly the rings encircle whole body, but farther back are represented on ventral surface by very fine grayish lines only. Rings sometimes very indistinct, and sometimes merely indicated on dorsal surface and entirely wanting ventrally and in posterior portions of body. Rings often disappear after preservation, the body assuming a slaty black appearance, sometimes more grayish below, and with the distinct terminal white border.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Ritger, Rebecca

Source: Nemertea

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