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Temporal range: Carboniferous – Recent[1]
Cryptonome conclava - Journal.pone.0053590.g003-d.png
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: "Polychaeta"
Order: Aciculata
Family: Amphinomidae

The Amphinomidae are a group of marine polychaetes, some of which bear chaetae mineralized with carbonate.[2] Their most noted representatives are the fireworms, which can cause great pain if trodden on.[3] Their relationship to other polychaete groups is somewhat poorly resolved.[3]


Complanine is an organic amide and quaternary ammonium compound that has been isolated from the marine fireworm Eurythoe complanata. It causes an inflammatory effect upon contact with the skin or mucous membranes.

Eurythoe complanata

It was previously known that handling the fireworm caused it to release a chemical that induces inflammation of the skin of marine predators and mammals (including humans). Complanine was the first compound isolated from the fireworm which causes these effects.[4][5] It is presumed that this compound's function is to deter predators of the fireworm.


  1. ^ Pleijel, F.; Rouse, G. W.; Vannier, J. (2004). "Carboniferous fireworms (Amphinomida : Annelida), with a discussion of species taxa in palaeontology". Invertebrate Systematics 18 (6): 693. doi:10.1071/IS04003.  edit
  2. ^ Barroso, R. M.; Paiva, P. C. (2010). "A new deep-sea species of Chloeia (Polychaeta: Amphinomidae) from southern Brazil". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 91 (2): 419. doi:10.1017/S0025315410001499.  edit
  3. ^ a b Wiklund, H.; Nygren, A.; Pleijel, F.; Sundberg, P. (2008). "The phylogenetic relationships between Amphinomidae, Archinomidae and Euphrosinidae (Amphinomida: Aciculata: Polychaeta), inferred from molecular data". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 88 (3). doi:10.1017/S0025315408000982.  edit
  4. ^ Kazuhiko Nakamura, Yu Tachikawa, Makoto Kitamura, Osamu Ohno, Masami Suganuma and Daisuke Uemura (2008). "Complanine, an inflammation-inducing substance isolated from the marine fireworm Eurythoe complanata". Org. Biomol. Chem. 6 (12): 2058–2060. doi:10.1039/b803107j. PMID 18528565. 
  5. ^ Nakamura, Kazuhiko; Tachikawa, Yu; Uemura, Daisuke (2009). "(−)-Complanine, an inflammatory substance of marine fireworm: a synthetic study". Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 5. doi:10.3762/bjoc.5.12. 

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