Polychaetes are an important component of the marine environment especially in the benthos where they comprise 35 to 50% of both the total macroscopic species and specimen population. 1 Larval stages are pelagic with a free-swimming period lasting from a day to over a month. They may or may not feed during this period. Not all polychaetes have a free-swimming stage; others may lack a trochophore phase and are incubated by their parent and leave as juvenile worms. For purposes of this review, small polychaetes are defined as measuring less than 1.0 cm in length. They are found living among mussel beds, algal fronds, algal holdfasts, and other similar associations as well as in pore water between sediment particles.