Comprehensive Description

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General Description

(from Coe, W. R. (1905). Nemerteans of the west and northwest coasts of America.. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harv.. 1-318)


This interesting species can be distinguished from the other nemerteans at present known from the Pacific coast by the above generic diagnosis, and especially by the slender body, round ed anteriorly and much flattened towards posterior extremity, which is remarkably broad and flat; head rounded or emarginate in front, wider than back ; color pure white anteriorly, with cream-colored or brownish intestinal region. The worms often show a tendency to coil the posterior portions of the body in a spiral.
There is very great variation in size, small individuals being scarcely more than 25 mm in length, while the largest specimen recorded measured more than half a meter when fully extended, with a diameter of but 3 to 5 mm. On the California coast few individuals were collected which were above 20 cm in length, while the average size was much less.


After preservation the natural colors are completely lost; the body becomes nearly cylindrical and is flattened only towards its posterior extremity; head is not usually distinctly marked off from body, and in only a few specimens is it broadened as in life.

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© Ritger, Rebecca

Source: Nemertea

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