Marine Worm Photos Gallery

  • 01 of 17

    Hawaiian Feather Duster (Sabellastarte sanctijosephi)

    Hawaiian Feather Duster Photo (Sabellastarte sanctijosephi). Photo by Debbie Hauter

    Especially common in bays & harbors where phytoplankton is abundant.  The worm's body occupies a flexible mucus tube formed by adhesion of silt from the water column.  The feathery feeding crown has two lobes, varies in color, and attains 5 inches in diameter.

     

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  • 02 of 17

    Hawaiian Feather Duster (Sabellastarte sanctijosephi)

    Hawaiian Feather Duster (Sabellastarte sanctijosephi)
    Hawaiian Feather Duster (Sabellastarte sanctijosephi). Debbie Hauter

    The Feather Duster Marine Tube Worm (Sabellastarte sp.) is a terrific addition to almost any marine reef  or even a fish only with live rock (FOWLR) tank. The Atlantic variety of the Feather Duster is normally rather drab with its beige to brown coloring, however the pacific version of the Feather Duster is much more colorful and considerably larger, reaching sizes of up to 7" across the crown.

     

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  • 03 of 17

    Feather Duster w/ Tomato Clownfish

    Feather Duster w/ Tomato Clownfish
    Feather Duster w/ Tomato Clownfish. Chris Meyer

     Feather Duster or Tube Worm with a Tomato Clownfish finding shelter among its soft feathery tentacles.

    The body tube, which is created by the worm is made up of sand and bits of coral rubble and mucous from the worm. When it is disturbed, it can quickly pull in its radiole into the tube. If it is severely stressed, it will discard its crown, growing it back later.

    The Feather Duster Marine Worm stabilizes its location both on the reef and in your aquarium by producing mucous to bond its tube to...MORE live rock or anything else that is not moving.

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  • 04 of 17

    Purple Featherduster

    Purple Featherduster
    Purple Featherduster. Deb & Stan Hauter

    The Indo-Pacific Feather Duster has been know to have up to 3 crowns on one worm, the second and third crowns being nested inside the bottom or first crown.

     

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  • 05 of 17

    Featherduster Worm (Sabellastarte sanctijosephi)

    Featherduster Worm
    Featherduster Worm. Keoki and Yuko Stender

    The Feather Duster has a fan-shaped crown that is tan or orange with brown band coloration. The crown of some species from certain locales (i.e. Hawaii) may be up to 7 inches in diameter and contain brighter colors.

     

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  • 06 of 17

    Hawaiian Feather Duster

    Hawaiian Feather Duster
    Hawaiian Feather Duster. Deb & Stan Hauter

    The Feather Duster is reef tank safe, however it is sometimes eaten by crustaceans and Sea Urchins have been known to chew through its sedimentary tube.
     

     

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  • 07 of 17

    Hawaiian Feather Duster

    Hawaiian Feather Duster
    Hawaiian Feather Duster. Deb & Stan Hauter

    The Feather Duster captures food in its "feathers" which it directs toward its mouth, located at the center of the crown. Each feather is covered with small cilia. These small cilia (along with the water current) move food particles (bacteria, fine detritus and other particulate organic matter, phytoplankton, and tiny microorganisms) that fall on the feather to the conducting grooves in the center of each feather. The food particles are sorted as they are transported to the mouth of the...MORE feather duster. The large particles are moved to the tip of the feather where they are whisked away by water currents. The medium sized particles are "stored" for construction of the tube while the small particles are moved down the center groove to the mouth.

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  • 08 of 17

    Hawaiian Lined Fireworm

    Hawaiian Lined Fireworm
    Hawaiian Lined Fireworm. Keoki and Yuko Stender

     The Hawaiian Lined Fireworm  is common on reefs as it searches for small invertebrate prey.  It is red with thin brown lines and can attain a length of 8 inches.  The bristle-like setae can deliver a painful sting and become embedded in the skin. 

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  • 09 of 17

    Hawaiian Orange Fireworm

    Hawaiian Orange Fireworm
    Hawaiian Orange Fireworm. Deb Hauter

     A common segmented marine worm that is found in Hawaii as well as other tropical seas worldwide. The Orange Fireworm, which is one of many Eurythoe species bristleworms that usually feeds on detritus and other organic matter, and therefore may be considered a beneficial tank janitor.

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  • 10 of 17

    Spaghetti Worm (Loimia medusa)

    Spaghetti Worm
    Spaghetti Worm. Keoki and Yuko Stender

     Do you have white, stringy stuff in your tank that looks like this? It could be caused by the Spaghetti Worm (Loimia medusa).

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  • 11 of 17

    Spaghetti Worm (Loimia medusa)

    Spaghetti Worm
    Spaghetti Worm. Keoki and Yukos Stender

     Here is a close up of the critter who is creating the white, stringy stuff in your tank. It could be caused by the Spaghetti Worm (Loimia medusa).

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  • 12 of 17

    Christmas Tree Worms (Spirobranchus giganteus)

    Red Christmas Tree Worms
    Red Christmas Tree Worms. Keoki and Yuko Stender

    Common in Porites corals and limestone reef rock. The worm's body creates a tunnel and extends a pair of colorful crowns that function as gills and food gathering devices. The crowns are rapidly retracted when disturbed and the hole is covered by a hard operculum. The crowns of Hawaiian worms are especially sensitive to movement and at only 1/2 inch tall are dwarfs compared to those seen elsewhere.

     

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  • 13 of 17

    Featherduster Worms (Sabellastarte magnifica)

    Louie Jalbuena's Featherduster Worm
    Louie Jalbuena's Featherduster Worm. Louie Jalbuena

    The Feather Duster feeds on phytoplankton and particulate matter in the wild. It greatly prefers regular daily feeding of phytoplankton and liquid organic foods in a reef aquarium. It has been found that stirring up the substrate in an aquarium causes the small particles of uneaten food, detritus and other matter to be suspended in the water column and then settle on the feather duster where the food matter is sorted out and "eaten" by the feather duster.

     

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  • 14 of 17

    Spiny Scale Worm (Iphione muricata)

    Spiny Scale Worm (Iphione muricata)
    Spiny Scale Worm (Iphione muricata). Keoki and Yuko Stender

     To look at it, you would never think it was a worm. Keoki and Yukos' Spiny Scale Worm (Iphione muricata) photo, taken off Manana Island, Oahu at 30'.

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  • 15 of 17

    Mystery Marine Worms

    Mystery Marine Worms
    Mystery Marine Worms. Ron Alberico

    A photo of Ron Alberico's marine worms in his 75 gallon bow-front reef tank. They are unnamed, but they appear to look like Christmas Tree Tubeworms.

     

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  • 16 of 17

    Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus)

    Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus)
    Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus). Keoki Stender

    Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus) is common in massive corals and limestone reef rock.  The worm's body creates a tunnel and extends a pair of colorful crowns that function as gills and food gathering devices.  The crowns are rapidly retracted when disturbed and the hole is covered by a hard operculum.  The crown diameter is 0.6 inch.  They are found in Hawai'i & the Indo-Pacific region.

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  • 17 of 17

    Christmas Tree Worm Rock (Spirobranchus giganteus)

    Christmas Tree Worm Rock (Spirobranchus giganteus)
    Christmas Tree Worm Rock (Spirobranchus giganteus). Pat Walters

     Christmas Tree Worm Rock (Spirobranchus giganteus).