It is a tube-dwelling species characterized by low motility and a semelparous life cycle with a brief pelagic lecithotrophic development.
Both male and female undergo epitokous metamorphosis and perform a “nuptial dance” in the water surface, releasing the sperm and eggs synchronously, respectively. This activity is synchronized by pheromones released into the water (Hardege 1999).
They are small in size (length of adult worm up to 6cm).
Platynereis dumerilii are marine worms with a relative short life cycle, lasting approximately 3 to 6 months in captivity and up to 2 years in field.
As several polychaetes P. dumerilii are dioecious, (although close species as P. magellensis is hermaphroditic).
Gametes are proliferated from a particular germinal epithelium, typically attached to the septa of the anterior segments. Gametogenesis in P. dumerilii lasts 3-5 months in captivity and around 7 month in wild populations, culminating in a single mass broadcast spawning event after epitokous metamorphosis.