Myxicola aesthetica is a small, sedentary annelid that measures 15 to 40 mm in length and reaches 3 mm in diameter. It lives in a mucous tube that barely protrudes from the substrate. Its funnel-shaped gill plume is beige to purplish brown in color. It consists of 2 semicircular branchial lobes each provided with 5 to 10 filaments. This panache only comes out of its tube a little. The body completely protected by the tube has 20 to 50 setiger including 1 to 4 thoracic. Very sensitive, the small hagfish quickly sinks into its tube in case of danger. Myxicola aesthetica usually lives in more or less dense groups, sometimes the tubes attached to each other form a base gelatinous from which the small gill panache emerge.
This species is easily distinguished from Myxicola infundibulum by its very small size and its generally rocky habitat.
Myxicola aesthetica lives among empty shells and in rock crevices in the English Channel, Atlantic and Mediterranean.
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Source : World Register of Marine Species
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Text : Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat © 2021 - 2022.
Photos : ©
Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography
Bay-Nouailhat W., Novembre 2021, Description of Myxicola aesthetica, [On line] https://european-marine-life.org/16/myxicola-aesthetica.php?photo=1, consulted on 2022 August 15.
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