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The Amphinomidae are a group of shallow water marine polychaetes.  Most have bright, distinct color patterns, though deeper dwelling worms often have more muted coloration.  All species bear tufts of sharp, hollow chaetae mineralized with carbonate in transverse strips across their dorsal surface.  The Amphinomidae are commonly called fire worms, because their most noted representatives have setae filled with venom, and should be treated carefully.  Slow-moving carnivores, they typically feeding on soft-skinned animals attached to hard substrates.

The closest relatives of the amphionomid worms are the deeper water Euphrosinidae; they are considered together in some treatments as one family Amphinomidae sensu lato (e.g. Day, 1967).  A recent molecular phylogenetic study determined that Amphinomidae also contains one known deep sea vent inhabitant, Archinome rosacea, previously placed in its own family, Archinomidae (Wiklund et al. 2008).  Currently some 20-30 genera are described in the Amphinomidae, and it is thought many more species exist to be discovered. 

(Hutchings and Johnson, 2000; Wiklund et al. 2008; Wikipedia 2014)


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