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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Sea Mouse Aphrodita aculaeta

The segmented structure of this pretty worm can be seen only if it is turned over, because its back is disguised by a thick felt of hairs that mask its segments. Running along each side of its body are numerous stiff, black bristles and a fringe of beautiful, iridescent hairs that glow green, blue, or yellow. The bristles can cause severe irritation if they puncture the skin. The sea mouse is so called because it looks like a bedraggled mouse when washed up dead on the seashore.

Sea Mousezoom image
  • Class Polychaeta
  • Length Up to 8 in (20 cm)
  • Depth Shallow to moderate
  • Habitat Sand, muddy sand
  • Distribution Temperate coastal waters of northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean
Sea Mouse habitat mapzoom image