View Full Version : Leslie ID this worm please

All Delight
02/06/2006, 10:58 PM
This guy lives under the rock. I see him come out every couple of days. He doen't do much. He comes out about 2 inches from the rock and goes back in after a few minutes. Should I worry about him?



02/07/2006, 12:27 AM
I can't see that much of him to be sure, but it is a polychaete. I've seen nereids with the same behavior - coming out to search for food. Judging by his position he's grazing in the sand.... maybe detritus, maybe smaller critters like pods and other worms. I bet if you regularly put a bit of meat in front of its burrow it would learn to come out in response to you. Seems pretty harmless now but keep an eye on it in the future just in case it gets bigger & becomes on predator on animals you value.

All Delight
02/07/2006, 01:25 AM
Thanks for the quick reply!! I've been reading up on some of these worms and people were saying that their softies were disappearing. I have some yumas and zoos that are pretty expensive. I was starting to freak out after reading some of the stories. I want to just get him out for my peace of mind. Do they typically hide within the rock that its under? Or does he hide in the sand? From my observations it looks like both. If he hides in the rock I'll just throw that entire rock away.

Thanks for the help.

02/07/2006, 11:22 AM
The ones that eat healthy soft corals are the big bristle worms more properly known as Hermodice carunculata. Do a search here and you'll find lots of posts about it. Other bristle worms - Eurythoe complanata & Linophereus - are detritivores & scavengers; normally they won't touch a softy but if one is injured or dies they will eat the rotting tissue.

I don't think your guy is a bristleworm but the picture isn't good enough for me to tell. The way it burrows through sand isn't typical bristle worm behavior; like I said, it reminds me of a nereid. I also can't predict where it's living - you'll have to establish that by watching. But really the most important thing is how you feel about it so yank it if you want!

You're in LA, right? If you really want to know what it is get it out & bring here for a quick id. Then you can put it back if it's harmless

All Delight
02/07/2006, 11:57 AM
Thank alot Leslie! I'm going to catch it, if I can.