As with other members
of Family Polynoidae, the dorsal side of this species is covered with a
series of platelike elytra. Lepidonotus
squamatus has only 12 pairs of
elytra, which is less than other local family members
the lateral pair of prostomialantennae
are inserted directly into anterior projections of the prostomium
rather than ventral to the medialantenna.
The dorsal surface often is fouled with debris or marine
with a complex covering of tubercles,
and usually have rusty brown spots. The posterior margins of
have a dense fringe of long papillae.
Both pairs of black eyes can be seen from the dorsal side (except when
covered by the elytra).
than the notosetae,
and have single-toothed tips. Length to 2.5 cm.
Common name(s): Rusty scaleworm
squamatus, Lepidonotus caelorus
10 mm long. This individual has lost a few anterior elytra.
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles,
July 2009 )
How to Distinguish from
Other Polynoid scaleworms have more than 12 pairs of elytra
(usually 15 or more).
Note: Leslie Harris (personal communication), a polychaete
from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, says this
does not look right to be L.
and that they also are not likely to be found along our coast. It may
be L. spiculus,
not appear in either the Kozloff key nor the Carlton key.
and Pacific. On our coast from Alaska to California.
Low intertidal to
46 m or more.
Free-living in kelp holdfasts,
under rocks, and among barnacles or mussels.
This species often curls into a ball when disturbed.
feeding both on animals and on algae. Sexually mature males
due to sperm within the body, while females are dark gray to green.
and O'Clair, 1998
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
This dorsal view of the anterior body shows the rough elytra
(several are missing). Note the particles of debris adhering
and elsewhere, and the brownish coloration on the elytra.
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2009): Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)