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General Description

Live female specimens have a pink or red contractile and a discrete crown composed of four palps. There is a contractile trunk that is pink to white in colour, and a root structure. The crown and trunk are found within a gelantinous translucent cylindrical tube made from transparent mucus that emerges from the surface of the whale bone. The palps usually extend from the tube in live specimens. There is a short and terminal oviduct present at the end of the trunk.

The palps are of equal length and vary between 1-7 mm in length (contracted). They emerge from the upper part of the trunk, and possess numerous pinnules on the distal half of the outer margin of each palp. The pinnules are 0.1 mm in length.The trunk is cylindrical and a whitish translucent colour, measuring from 1.1 - 8.8 mm in length and 0.7 - 2.1 mm wide, and is composed mainly of muscle.The collar has brown plaques along the edge of the anterior trunk, expect for the ventral portion. There are protuberances along the oviduct on the trunk surface that contain some eggs. The oviduct terminates at the distal end of the trunk, level with the base of the palps. In dissected specimens the ventral and dorsal blood vessels are clearly visible inside the rtunk. Neither a mouth or obvious gut are present. The root structure is embedded within the matrix of the whale bone. The root structure is bulbous or lobulate, between 1.0 - 4.3 mm in length and 0.9 - 3.8 mm in width when contracted, and is covered by a brownish-green sheath in live specimens. No chaetae or segmentation are apparent. The form of the males is unknown.

(Fujikura et al., 2006)


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