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Owenia fusiformis.jpg
Owenia fusiformis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Canalipalpata
Suborder: Sabellida
Family: Oweniidae
Rioja, 1917
See text

Oweniidae is a family of marine polychaete worms in the suborder Sabellida. The worms live in tubes made of sand and are selective filter feeders,[1] detritivores and grazers.[2]


Members of this family live in tubes made of sand and shell fragments. The head of the worm does not bear a proboscis but has the mouth at the tip rimmed by some very short tentacles. The body segments lack parapodium|parapodia and are smooth elongated cylinders. There are a large number of hooked chaetae or bristles on a small pad on the ventral side of each segment. These chaetae have two parallel teeth resembling claws which is a feature that distinguishes members of this family from other polychaetes. The posterior tip bears different appendages in different genera. Family members are unique in having a bell-shaped larval stage known as a mitraria larva. At one time the family was classified as the Ammocharidae.[1]