Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Worms, Vermiform Animals of all Kinds, Behavior 

Related FAQs: Flatworm Behavior, Polychaete Behavior, Tubeworm Behavior, & Worms 1, Worms 2, Worms 3, & FAQs on:  Worm Identification, Worm Compatibility, Worm Selection, Worm Systems, Worm Feeding, Worm Disease, Worm Reproduction, & Polychaete Identification, Flatworms/Planaria, Fire/Bristle/Errantiate Polychaete Worms

Related Articles: Worms, Featherduster Worms


Feather Duster & Worm Questions Hello again, crew.<Hello, MikeB here.>  I have a feather duster/worm question for you.  I looked through everything I could find on the site and couldn't find any information on it, so please forgive me if I missed this in some previous answer. <Sure, no problem.>  We originally had 2 Hawaiian feather dusters and 1 small, dark purple feather duster.  The small feather duster (don't have a more accurate name) had what seemed like a calcareous tube that looked like it was made of substrate - not like the leathery tubes of the other two.  The Hawaiians seem to be doing just great, and we have a number of other dusters that have begun growing on live rock.  However, a couple of months ago, the small feather duster appeared to have died - the feather crown fell off, tube in several pieces, no visible worm.  We cleared out the old crown and empty pieces of tube that were easy to reach, leaving one small (maybe 3/4") piece of tube that was under a rock shelf that not as easy to get to.  There is now a lot of activity originating in the old piece of tube, which we hope means the original worm is still around.<If the worm gets stressed it will drop its head and eventually a new one will regrow.>  There are many grayish, thread-like projections coming from the tube (like 40-50)  that spread out to cover a pretty wide area of substrate and appear to be moving small substrate pieces back toward the tube.  Our concern is to make sure it's the original duster worm doing his or her thing, vs. another species that might not be such good news that might simply be opportunistically using the old tube section.<My hunch is that it is the old feather duster trying to reattach itself on the live rock or substrate.>  I didn't see anything on the site about these hair or thread projections.   Finally, on what I think is an unrelated topic (we have given up on being sure of anything), we have noticed that we have some pink and some white worms in that general "construction" area of the substrate.  We think they would be called bristle worms.<You are correct.>  We haven't seen them elsewhere, although maybe we just missed them.  Related? <No they are not related to feather dusters.>  Meaningful? <They are good for substrate circulation but can be a nuisance if they are in large proportions.> Get a life and quit looking at the tank? <Absolutely not, I live by looking at my tank.>  Thanks, as always.  This is absolutely the best resource on the web; wish we had known about it all along, but it saves us regularly now. Laura & Jim <Good Luck, MikeB>

Stressed Worm Help, my Sabellastarte sanctijosephi worm is hanging out of his tube Is this normal ? <not normal at all, my friend. The animal is stressed and likely dying. If new, it is a handling/shipping induced trauma... if the worm was established, you need to examine water quality and likely do a large water change immediately. Any medications added recently that would explain the behavior? Anthony>

Electric worm in my reef tank!   9/4/06 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Derek> This evening I decided to have a look in my reef tank while the lights were all out, in the hope I might see one of the many creatures that spend the day hidden in holes in the rocks. <Is really a fun, neat time for observation> Well, I saw my boxer shrimp behaving a bit odd, looking like he'd caught something, so I looked closer hoping it wasn't one of my fish. At first I couldn't see anything in his claws but he seemed to be wrestling with something. A moment later two thin strips of vivid electric blue lit up between his outstretched claws and he jumped back like he'd put a pincer in the mains socket. <Ah, yes, phosphorescence... not uncommon in the wild> I continued to watch, trying to adjust my eyes to the dark water, and again a flash of blue, the shrimp jumped back again. Eventually I could see he'd caught what looked like a 2.5" long worm. It was too dark to make out properly, and I didn't want to suddenly light the whole tank up, but the worm looked thin and flat, and while the boxer tried to eat it the worm shot lines of really bright electric blue along its body. <A type of reflex defensive mechanism> it looked like the shrimp was chewing on a live wire, but the most beautiful blue glow. The glow clearly hurt the shrimp, though he didn't give up, and at this moment the boxer appears to have won and is slowly eating the worm. Now that the glowing has stopped the worm looks very plain and could easily be a bristle worm, but do they glow like that? <Can, yes> Whatever this is it has me very excited, I'm amazed to see an unidentified glowing creature in my little reef. I almost wanted to stop the boxer killing it but short of pulling every rock out there was no way I'd separate them, and I also wondered if this worm could be a danger to the fish anyway. I'm a big fan of Wet Web Media and have spent many hours reading through your FAQ's, so when I saw this unexpected and unidentified creature I thought of contacting you first. Have you any idea what it was? <Yes... an instance of (observed) bio-phosphorescence...> Did I get all excited about something common? <Mmm, not commonly seen in captivity> I'm fairly new to reef keeping but to me this felt like some kind of discovery ;) I tried to get it on my digital video camera but it was too dark to see anything. I'd love to know your thoughts. I've tried looking for similar things online but turned up no clues at all. Thanks in advance for your time, and thanks for the great site. Regards, Derek <Do take a look/see on the Net with the term: "biological phosphorescence/luminescence in the sea" in your search tool/s. Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: