Armoured bristleworm (Scoloplos armiger)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Scoloplos armiger reaches lengths of 12 cm with 200 or more body segments. The front region of the body is swollen and sharply pointed, giving the head a cone-shaped appearance. The eyes are not easily detectable. Gills occur dorsally from segments 9 to 17 onwards and the tip of the posterior has 2 long cirri. Scoloplos armiger is red or reddish brown in colour, and has prominent red blood vessels running down the length of the body.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widely distributed around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution



Occurs on the low shore and shallow sublittoral in fine, muddy sand, often amongst seagrasses. May be found in the lower reaches of estuaries.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Red to bright orange-pink in colour.
  • Sharply pointed, cone-shaped head.
  • Up to 12 cm in length with 200 or more body segments.
  • The posterior has 2 long cirri.
  • Prominent red blood vessels.

Additional information


Listed by

- none -



    1. Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre, 2017. BRERC species records recorded over 15 years ago. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-25.

    2. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

    3. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

    4. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1995 to 1999. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

    5. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

    6. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-05-28

    7. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Worms (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.


    This review can be cited as:

    Ballerstedt, S. 2005. Scoloplos armiger Armoured bristleworm. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 28-05-2024]. Available from:

    Last Updated: 27/10/2005