This new species of worm found in Scotland has eyes near its mouth and also near its anus

Baptized as Ampharete oculicirrata, this little creature found in the Scottish Sea has two pairs of eyes, one near the mouth and one near the anus.

This worm is only 4 mm long, and was discovered in a previously unexplored part of the seabed of the West Shetland Shelf Marine Protected Area.

Ampharete oculicirrata

A team of scientists aboard the MRV Scotia research vessel collected more than 80 at the end of 2017. The expedition included researchers from government institutions such as Marine Scotland Science and the United Kingdom Nature Conservation Committee, as well as the private company Thomson Environmental Consultants

The worm is now in the collections of the National Museums of Scotland, in Edinburgh. Jessica Taylor, from JNCC, explained:

The fact that it was found in relatively shallow depths, relatively close to the Scottish coast, shows how much more must be understood about the creatures that live in our waters.

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