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 Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri is a small, thin worm about 20-35 mm in length. It has a simple conical shaped head, that lacks eyespots, and a long cylindrical body of numerous segments (55-95). The segments have on each side an upper and lower bundle of bristles (setae), that are able to move and are used for burrowing in sediment. The worm may appear red in colour, owing to the possession of the respiratory pigment haemoglobin. Like all other oligochaetes, the species is a hermaphrodite, with a complex reproductive system.Oligochaetes are segmented, bilaterally symmetrical, cylindrical worms, with tapering ends. They are very small, typically not much longer than 2 cm in length with a diameter of only a fraction of a millimetre. Typically each body segment possesses four bundles of setae (chitinous bristles projecting from the body). The setae vary considerably in size and shape, and between families, so are consequently used extensively in identification. Examination under a microscope and of internal anatomy is likely to be required for accurate identification and attention paid to the rather complex reproductive system. The number of gonads, the position of one gonad relative to the other, and the segments in which they occur are used to define the families. In the Tubificidae the form of the male duct is used to define genera.


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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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