The known species of polychaetes share only a few characteristics. Each has a head, a tail and a segmented body, and typically each body segment has a pair of leg-like parapodiaparapodiaPolychaeta (/ˌpɒlɪˈkiːtə/) is a paraphyletic class of generally marine annelid worms, commonly called bristle worms or polychaetes (/ˈpɒlɪˌkiːts/). Each body segment has a pair of fleshy protrusions called parapodia that bear many bristles, called chaetae, which are made of chitin.

Where are polychaete worms found?


Polychaetes are multi-segmented worms living in all environments in the world’s oceans, present from abyssal depths to shallow estuaries and rocky shores, and even free swimming in open water. They are strictly aquatic annelids, but are the most abundant and diverse group of Phylum Annelida.