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The maldanids, or bamboo-worms, have cylindrical bodies with a relatively small number (mostly 18 to 24 setigerous segments) of greatly elongated segments; in general the body is very fragile. They may occur abundantly in sandy or muddy beaches or sublittorally, and they occupy cylindrical tubes which may be thin, covered with a single layer of sand, thick mud or silt. They are highly specialised burrowers, feeding on organic particles in the mud.
Maldanids from the Japanese coast have been reported in studies by McIntosh (1885),Izuka (1902), Moore (1903), Takahashi (1938), OKuda (1937, 1938, 1939), Imajima (1964), Imajima and Hartman (1964)and Uchida (1968). These authors reported the following species: Asychis disparidentata (Moore,1904), A. gotoi (Izuka, 1902), A. shaccotanus Uchida, 1968, Maldane sarsi Malmgren, 1865, Maldanella harai (Izuka,1902), Praxillella affinis (Sars,1872), Praxilla lankesteri (McIntosh, 1885), Nicomache japonica McIntosh, 1885. Three species, Clymene mirabilonga Moore, 1903, Nicomache inornata Moore, 1903 and Praxilla challengeriae (McIntosh, 1885) reported by Moore (1903, p. 485) were described from body fragments.
A taxonomic study of maldanids from Japan was undertaken by the junior author as a graduation thesis from the many specimens collected by the senior author. The senior author examined the holotypes reported by McIntosh, 1885 from Japanese waters and the general specimens from various locatities deposited in the British Museum (NaturalHistory) and also the holotypes and paratypes reported by Moore, 1903 from Japanese waters deposited in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution and the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia. Additionally, some of the holotypes of Maldanidae deposited in the Allan Hancock Foundation, University of Southern California were examined. He also reviewed and corrected the manuscript of the junior author.