The ampharetid Melinna palmata Grube is a common member of the polychaete infauna off the west coast of Ireland and off the Breton coast of France. Larval development is described from specimens taken at the above locations.Cleavage is spiral, holoblastic and unequal. Early development is planktonic and lecithotrophic. Settlement occurs approximately 7 days after fertilization, at the 3-chaetiger stage. A mucus-lined tube is produced within which the newly settled benthic juvenile undergoes metamorphosis. Subsequently, rudimentary structures for feeding (a ciliated buccal tentacle bud) and respiration (paired branchial buds) appear. Multiplication and differentiation of chaetae and the addition of buccal tentacles and branchiae take place. Larval chaetae, comprising 4 pairs of spatulate chaetae, capillaries on chaetigers 1 and 2, and uncini on chaetigers 3 and 4, are progressively lost until, by the 35-chaetiger stage, all species-specific features are present. This pre-adult condition is attained about 82 days after fertilization.