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Flabellinidae Family

Family Flabellinidae

Flabellinids are aeolids that have a long, narrow and tapering body, usually with a pointed tail. The body is generally high in profile and the underlying foot is wide. The anterior corners of the foot are rounded or developed into short blunt tentacles (propodial tentacles). The oral tentacles are very long and tapering. The rhinophores can be either smooth, or have clubs that are papillate or lamellate but there are no basal sheaths. The eye spots are positioned at the base of each rhinophore. There is usually a mantle brim or a ridge running down the dorsal midline which is a mantle remnant. The cerata, which are usually long and thin, arise in rows or clusters down each side of the body and are either directly inserted onto the body wall or are attached to lobes of varying size. Each ceras carries a digestive gland branch that continues to the tip ending in a cnidosac containing nematocysts sequestered from their prey and are used for defensive purposes. There are no separate gill structures with gaseous exchange taking place through the thin walls of the body and cerata. All flabellinids feed on athecate hydroids.