FAQs about Marine Worms, Vermiform
Animals Identification 21
Worm IDs 1,
Worm IDs 2,
Worm IDs 3,
Worm IDs 4,
Worm IDs 5,
Worm IDs 6,
Worm IDs 7,
Worm IDs 8,
Worm IDs 9,
Worm IDs 10,
Worm ID 11,
Worm ID 12,
Worm ID 13,
Worm ID 14,
Worm ID 15,
Worm ID 16,
Worm ID 17,
Worm ID 19,
Worm ID 20,
Worm ID 21,
Worm ID 22,
Worm ID 23,
See Also: Flatworm ID 1 +,
Nemertean, Proboscis, Ribbon Worm ID 1,
Nematode, Roundworm ID 1,
Nematomorpha, Horsehair Worm ID 1,
Acanthocephalans, Thorny-headed Worm ID
1, Tubeworm/Featherduster ID
1 +, Bristle Worm ID 1 +,
Hirudineans, Leech ID 1, Sipunculids, Peanut Worm ID 1, Echiuran Worm ID 1, Invertebrate Identification, Worms 1, Worms 2,
Worms 3, Flatworms/Planaria, Fire/Bristleworms, FAQs on: Worm Behavior, Worm
Compatibility, Worm Selection,
Worm Systems, Worm Feeding, Worm
Worms, Featherduster Worms,
Critter ID 10/25/27
Hi there, I've got a funny little dude on one of my corals. I've asked every
reefing group I can find and no one has an idea. It started off between these
two heads of hammer coral and looked like a Chiton at first--it's a series of
armored plates. Then it sort of curved as you can see here in the photo and it's
growing fast. There are three of them now.
It is very, very hard--harder than the coral stalk and absolutely nothing budges
it, even trying to slide a razor blade under the edge hasn't been successful.
The picture below shows it just opened its 'mouth' end which is usually shut
tight. Any ideas what it could be? I'd hate to kill it if it's a reef safe
critter. Thank you!!!
<Mmm; can't quite make out in your pix, but would have guessed at first glance
that these were Chitons as you mention, and with the clue that they can't be
removed with a razor blade either limpets of some sort or, my final guess (for
now) that these are a species of calcareous tube-building worm or snail. I would
leave them here.
Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Worm id & guidance
Tonight, as I was walking by the tank on the way to bed, I thought I saw a long
string or piece of Chaetomorpha hanging across a rock. Upon further inspection,
it was some species of worm.
<Mmm; there are many... phyla, species... most are benign>
The lights were out, so I couldn't really get a sense of its coloring.
However, the part I saw was about 8-9 inches long, about the thickness
of a strand of Chaeto, and had a "head" in the shape of a "T". The two proboscis
were frilly and moving over the rock. It looked very much like this
. Does that ring a bell?
<Sort of... classical characteristics>
If I'm close to the correct ID, it seems like this is a beneficial creature,
don't you think?
<Not harmful... See here:
Re: Worm id & guidance
You're quick on the draw tonight! Thanks as always! I hope you have a wonderful
evening/day wherever you are!
<Thank you Carter. B>
Please Identify 3/4/17
We just lost a Porcupine Puffer (Diodon Holocanthus) and since we aren't all
together sure of the cause of his death, we wanted to make sure everything
in the tank was dried out and dead (even all of the rock and sand) before
deciding what of the supplies we wanted to introduce into our other marine
tanks. While moving one of the live rocks, we found this creature embedded.
It is quite large (about the size of my pinky finger).
Can you help identify it?
<Ah yes; I believe so. This appears to be an Echiuran:
<Not harmful; in fact indicative of good conditions. Bob Fenner>
Unidentified hitchhiker 12/13/16
I have recently moved a Pocillopora colony to another part of my tank. The
Pocillopora had been in that position for over a year.
Tonight while looking at the area I intend to fill with another coral I
surprised by a hitchhiker I've not seen before.
It's body diameter is about 3-4mm, and it's body length (that which I've
seen emerging from the rock) is approx 6" long. It is pitch black with a
white zigzag pattern surrounding its head.
I've attached a photo of the head to give you an idea.
<Oh, yeah. See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ribnwrmidfaqs.htm>
<Welcome; and happy holidays. Bob Fenner>
Unknown worm. 7/10/16
After a couple of years of happy reefing and not bothering you guys. I added
a new rock to my tank. And a couple of days later I noticed a worm in my
tank. Looked all over your site and haven't found one that matches.
About 2 foot long and about 1/4 inc in circumference. It has legs like a
centipede but they seem to point up and down. About every third one or so is
sticking up. The head end looks like a worm with a square shovel for a head.
I tried taking a picture but it sucked. I found one online accept that I
didn't see eyes on mine, but the shovel shaped extension is similar. Mine
might have been a bit more squared and thicker. I have seen it a couple of
weeks but I haven/t realized how big it was until it has migrated earlier
this week and it seemed to go on forever. But judging on where the head was
and the tail was its about 2 feet maybe more. It wasn't a concern until I
saw it bug my turbo snail earlier today. It didn't seen to have taken a bite
just poked it with the head end an than gave up after several attempts. I
attached a couple of pictures and a video. Hopefully it will all fit in your
inbox. Please let me know what you think it is and if I should try and get
it out. And if I do, should I wear some sort of protection. Thank you.
Jordan with you tonight. Unfortunately you have an Oenone fulgida. A
particularly nasty predator that I'm all too familiar with. They
prey primarily on gastropods but I've seen them go after other inverts. They
are primarily nocturnal and it is odd that you saw one during the day. I
would take that as a sign that there are likely many more. I've had success
removing them with a PVC trap. Use an 8 or 9 inch piece of PVC capped with
removable ends. Drill a small hole in the pipe for the worms to enter. Bait
the trap using PE Mysid inside a mesh bag that is tied shut so they cannot
get to the bait. Place in the tank at lights out and pull in the morning.
Wear gloves as the worms produce a toxic mucus. Conus regius can be used to
keep numbers in check but it will prey on beneficial Polychaetes as well.>
Re: Unknown worm. ID and Polychaete control 7/9/16
I have a healthy cleanup crew with many different worms. Will i be able to
separate the nasty one from the good stuff? If yes than whats the best way? If
not than how do i limit the amount of benign worms i have to throw away. Im
assuming that the thing was just looking for a new home because i have
transferred a rock from my friends tank in to mine recently. Or at least i hope
so. Dealing with an infestation of those things is not what i want to do. Thank
you for the quick response. <Hi Artur. I have limited saltwater experience but
have dealt with these things myself. Someone else with a better idea may chime
in here as well but I introduced a predatory specie that would remove them much
like a freshwater assassin snail would kill and consume nuisance snails. Conus
regious would be a wise choice. Like Jordan said there are likely many more. Id
use the PVC trap and depending on how large your system is I would consider
building 2. I inherited a 400 gallon system from my father with these ugly
little critters in it. I made 3 traps and introduced a small armada of 5 Conus
regious and it cleared them out of the system rather quickly. Feel free to
contact us anytime with anymore questions. Good luck. ~Ian>
re: Unknown worm.7/9/16
I had a crown conch before. It ate all of my snails. Its like fighting fire with
fire. Ill stick to the traps. Any sigestion<suggestion?> on the size? Do i need
to makw<make likely > it longer than the worm i intend to catch? What about the
width? I have some one inch pvc im not using, will that work? I got a 65 gallon
but its being overfed relygeously<...>. So my worms and copepods and stars are
probably enough to keep your 400 as clean as a wostle. I had a batch of 30
Turbos die in my sump about a month ago and the tank didn't even get phased. So
im assuming that even if i catch the really bad worms it will be accompanied by
about 100 of the good bristle worms and stars. Not to mention the copepods. Any
type of bait that the nasty creater will go for that others would not touch? I
don't want to decimate my cleaning crew in the process of catching the buggers.
<Please spell check before sending. Unfortunately that's the trick using bait as
it will attract a range of critters including the bad worms. I would use mysis
shrimp cubes fresh or frozen in a small mesh bag that they cannot get to or
consume. I'd use 2" diameter PVC pipe around a foot long. Check the trap
regularly and remember to wear protective gloves as these nasty things can and
will release a toxic mucus. Then I would empty it into a half full white 5
gallon bucket and if there are any beneficial creatures in there take them out
of the bucket and toss them back into your system. Dispose of the other
miscellaneous nuisances how you wish. ~Ian>
Re: Unknown worm. 7/13/16
Thank you l. Very much. (I type in multiple languages so i had to shut the
spell-check off. Sorry about that.)
<Very welcome. Best of luck to you. Ian>
Tiny worm? 1/30/16
I was introducing a peppermint shrimp into my tank and noticed this little guy
on the sand next to it. I was able to snag it out before it disappeared. It's
about 1mm and seems to have a circular mouth. It also moves fairly fast for
something this size. Could you identify it for me?
<Tis a Acoel flatworm of some sort... Go ahead and search, read on WWM re...
some folks over-react... Me? Meh.>
Thanks a million!
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner>
What kind of worms are these?
Hi guys, i just got some Chaeto from a local store and noticed some
hitchhiking worms. A few small and 2 or 3 sizeable ones (1" or so length).
I'm guessing they are Fireworms based on coloration,
<Yes; Errantiate Polychaetes... several families are ID'd on WWM>
but want to clarify if they're harmless or if they're the predatory coral
eating Hermodice carunculata, before i introduce them to my reef sump.
Thanks in advance!
<Are predaceous on something/s... but if not too large or numerous... See
WWM re compatibility. Bob Fenner>
Good worm or bad? No pic.... using WWM
I know I have bristle worms in my tank,
<In all marine environments, all saltwater tanks of worth... So?>
which I try to capture or remove cuz I worry they will get inside my
<... the File Shell? Not aquarium hardy period. Saw one on a "Fish Tank Kings"
episode two nights back... Yet another poor example...>
and hurt him (will they?),
<Could; again... SEE WWM RE: they very rarely live for more than a few weeks...
mostly starvation, but other issues...>
but there is another type of worm that I cannot seem to find anything on.
It lives in the sand, not the rocks, very thin and totally white with circular
lines around its body, and no part of the body is any larger than the rest;
don't even really see a head or such.
<Please peruse WWM RE: DO YOU SEE the Worm ID FAQs files? USE the search tool,
When I see them, it is always up by the glass and they are usually
upright with pay off their body in the sand against the glad and partially above
the sand against the glass. They make and leave funny looking hollow tubes, that
are totally bumpy, with little hair looking things asking them and at the top.
<Likely other Polychaetes>
These tubes are brittle and crumble if squished, and there is no worm or
anything inside the tubes, which is why I say they are hollow. Any clues as to
what these worms are, and whether they are good or bad for my saltwater tank?
<Not w/o a decent pic and probably not harmful>
I'm really more curious than concerned cuz they don't seem to bother anything;
just leave a horrible mess of protruding bumpy tubes all over the sand. (The
quantity of tubes they make and leave is pretty massive, as I
only have a 10 gallon tank currently,
<Very hard to keep such small systems.... too variable, unstable>
and I don't remember seeing them in my ex's 29 gallon tank over the years we
were together; bristle worms were there but not these white ones.)
Please let me know if you have any clue what they might be. Thanks.
<Do you need help using WWM? Please go back where you found how to write us and
use Eric's guide.