Department of Zoology at ANDC/Zoology Museum/Museum specimens/Annelida/Chaetopterus

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Systematic Postion

Phylum: Annelida

Class: Polychaeta

Genus: Chaetopterus

Common Name: Paddle worm


Worldwide distribtion, mainly found in Europe, and U.S.A.

Habit and habitat

Tubicolous, lives in U-shaped tubes.


small organisms,true filter feeders.

Identifying features

Labelled diagram of Chaetopterus.jpg
  • Body is delicate consisting of highly modified segments.
  • Body color is white.
  • Length is approximately 15-35 cm.
  • Body is divided into an anterior region, middle region and a posterior region.
  • Anterior region consists of 15-20 segments parapodia, prostomium, peristomial collar(cirri and mouth). It lacks the tentacles and palps.
  • Middle region consists of five segments:
  1. anterior most, produced into great wings.
  2. a pair of sucker.
  3. have fans(fused notopodia).
  • Posterior region consists of 11-30 similar segments without setae.It is more longer than anterior and posterior regions. Each segment consists of a pair of parapodia.
  • Parapodia are modified accordingly to their function. They are modified into pumping fans, sucking discs and food ball organs.
  • Notopodia are greatly reduced in Chaetopterus. But the 10th segment contains a wing like notopodia and collect food with the help of this notopodia.
  • It is an animal having great power of regeneration.
  • Asexual reproduction by transverse fission.