Arenicola loveni loveni Kinberg, 1866
Indigenous, popular bait species
In life, colour may vary depending on locality; most red or pink, sometimes black. Very large, up to 800mm, achaetous tail region may be longer than trunk. Eversible proboscis with prominent papillae. Trunk with 19 chaetigers. Branchiae start on chaetiger 7, 13 pairs. Notochaetae with lateral toothed-crests. Neuropodial hooks with small or inconspicuous tooth. Neuropodia in branchial region long, almost meeting midventrally.
South Africa: Velddrif on west coast to Durban on east coast.
Intertidal and shallow subtidal, muddy sandy sediment in protected bays and estuaries. Ecosystem engineers; occupy U-shaped burrows that draws in water, oxygenating sediment and encouraging bacterial growth.
Widely known as bloodworm, most popularly used polychaete bait species in South Africa. Overexploited in some localities. Collection in KwaZulu Natal prohibited.