Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Sedentary, Tubiculous, Featherduster Worm Identification 2

Related Articles: Featherduster Worms, Polychaete Worms

Related Worm ID FAQs by Group/Phylum: Tubeworm ID 1, Featherduster ID 3, Featherduster ID 4, & Polychaete Identification, Polychaete ID 2, & Flatworm Identification ID, Nemertean, Proboscis, Ribbon Worm ID, Nematode, Roundworm ID, Nematomorpha, Horsehair Worm ID, Acanthocephalans, Thorny-headed Worm ID, Tubeworm ID, Hirudineans, Leech ID, Sipunculids, Peanut Worm ID, Echiuran Worm ID, & LR Hitchhiker ID 2, LR Hitchhiker ID 3, Non-Vert IDs 1, Featherduster Worms 1, Featherdusters 2Tubeworms 3Tubeworm Behavior, Tubeworm Compatibility, Tubeworm Selection, Tubeworm System, Tubeworm Feeding, Tubeworm Disease, Tubeworm Reproduction, Polychaete Identification, Polychaete Behavior, Polychaete Compatibility, Polychaete System, Polychaete Selection, Polychaete Feeding, Polychaete Disease, Polychaete Reproduction

Feather Duster, ID  - 1/31/08 Hello Again, <Hi there!> I have leather coral that I have had for about 6 months. It came attached with a small piece of live rock. On the rock came a very small orange colored tube worm (or what I think is a tube worm). Its tube is maybe 2/8th of on inch tall and about as wide. It has a bright orange fan/crown <Pretty!> that is very sensitive to movement. Even walking by triggers it to hide. <That's pretty typical for some of these.> I like it and was wondering if it would multiply. <Possibly> Can you identify it from this description? <Unfortunately, no. Does sound like a little feather duster of some sort, though. Please see the photos at this link for comparison and more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feather.htm > Thanks as usual... FJ <You're very welcome! Take care. --Lynn>

Invert ID Spiral Tube Feather Dusters (Spirorbis spp.)   1/3/08 Hi Crew ! <Hi Lisa! Mich here.> I am a new Reef tank keeper, <Welcome to the salty world!> I still do not have much in my tank yet <Good. Is best to go slow.> only few damsels <Mmm, you may end up with just one winner.> and a cool yellow stripe maroon clown <Not the best fish to have this early in the process. They tend to be bullies and can make the introduction of new fish near impossible.> with an anemone <Oh, I really wish you didn't have the anemone. They are not beginner animals. Anemones really shouldn't be kept in a tank that is less than year old. It would be best to find a more appropriate home for the anemone and perhaps the yellow striped maroon. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm > and some peppermint shrimp <OK.> and a sally crab. <Not a fan... too predatory....> I love to look for life on the live rock and discovered several ?fans? <Yes, likely so.> look like tiny daisies about the size of a pinhead. They do retract when touched and retract when the lights are out. I have about 6 so far on one of the rocks. do you know what they are? <Yes, sounds like Spiral tube feather dusters (Spirorbis spp).> Lisa <Mich>

What is this tiny creature? A Spionid/Chaetopterid worm! - 12/23/07 <Hi Lisa.> I purchased some live rock and one of the pieces had what looks like a two armed anemone. It lives in a tube made up of the fine sand in my tank attached to the rock. <These are neat little creatures. They live in tubes of hardened mucus, complete with cemented on bits of substrate/shell, sand grains, etc. The mucus part isn't too appealing to me, but hey, it's their castle! See this photo of one in my tank for comparison (sorry, it's not the best photo, but you get the idea): http://wetwebfotos.com/usermedia/high/0/2470_62.jpg> It will send out these translucent arms about an inch long searching for food. <Yep, those are called 'peristomial palps', most often shortened to 'palps'. What you have sounds like either a Spionid/Hair worm, or a Chaetopterid worm. Both are similar in that they construct/live in a tube, have two characteristic hair-like feeding 'tentacles', and are generally harmless little detritivores/particulate feeders.> They don't seem to hurt anything, <For the most part, no. The exception is if they're within/near a colony of zoanthids. Continual contact with those flailing little palps can sometimes irritate, causing them to stay closed/decline.> but they have spread out over the other rocks now. So far they are not on the glass or in the sand without being attached to the rock. <Okay.> My tank size is 65gl. I have 5 peppermint shrimp, 2 hermit crabs, 2 sally crabs, 2 cleaner clams, a few damsels, and a Maroon yellow strip clown fish. So far it does not seem as though the peppermint shrimp are eating them or the hermit crabs. <Noticed the same in my tank. Maybe there's just more readily available/appealing food about?> Any suggestions on getting rid of them and do you know what they are?? <No need to remove unless they become too numerous/encroach on a coral, or irritate it. Please see these links for more info, as well as WWM via search engine: Spionids: http://www.reefs.org/library/aquarium_net/1197/1197_1.html Chaetopterids: http://www.reefs.org/library/aquarium_net/0897/0897_5.html> Lisa
<Take care --Lynn>

Baby Tube Anemones? ID Polychaete Worms  10/2/07 <Greetings random aquarist with poor punctuation, Mich here capitalizing your "i"s> I have a 60-gallon with a tube anemone in it... <And hopefully not too much else as these beauties can pack a powerful sting.> about 6 months or so, it started spewing out eggs. I have video that I took of it. It was spewing out little purple eggs that some of the fish were eating... in my 20-gallon tank where I have another tube anemone, that one started spewing out what looked like sperm. Looked like it was shooting out white milky looking substance into the water. <OK.> Anyways..... my 60 gallon now, the one that had eggs shooting in it... there are those little tubes you see in the pics, they have a single looking worm coming out of them. And they are starting to show up everywhere on the rocks and sand. I have not added any rocks in over a year in my tank. I'm wondering what these little tubed worms are? Probably something common and not what I'm thinking.. but what are they? <Is a Polychaete worm, perhaps a Terebellidae, Sabellaridae or Sabellidae species. Hard to tell by just looking at the tubes, but I suspect something along the lines of a spaghetti worm though some type of feather duster may also be a possibility. Likely something similar to the ciliated feeder seen here: http://www.dtplankton.com/images/figure02.jpg and will anything take care of them from spreading so much? <They are harmless filter feeders. I would not discourage their spread. But many wrasses will nip at these.> Thanks. <Welcome, next time please capitalize your "i"s and the first word of each sentence. Mich>

Encrusting Calcium Worms Hello Crew,<Howdy!> I recently added a nice piece of Fiji rock to my tank, has sprouted some sea squirts coco worms and some clam or oyster, perhaps a scallop as it is still small and clear hard to tell.<Awesome!> What I am wondering about is I have noticed from time to time what appears to be sand or small round particles being ejected from the rock. I now have what appears to be small white curls growing on the back and sides and now on the front of my aquarium, They are really tiny and only with the use of a magnifying glass was I able to tell they curled.  any ideas of what this may be as I do not even know what to look for in a search.<I call them encrusting calcium worms because I can't remember the real name for them.  They are harmless and are a common sighting in most aquariums.> also if you know what they are? should I be concerned?<See above! No need for concern.  Cody> Thanks, Drew

Help Identifying Possible Pest, No Pest Here. Just Some Good Worms!   2/13/07 Hi again <Hi Maria, Mich with you tonight.> I just found this guy crawling in the bottom of my tank, I would like to know what kind of worm is it and where I can found <find> info about it.   <It could be a Spaghetti worm (Terebellidae spp.), but is more likely a Hair worm (Cirratulid spp.).  I think the later because of the red color.  Both are good scavengers, feeding on detritus and particulate organic materials.>   Do you think there could be more of like this?   <Mmm, hopefully.  Ideally a couple of Hair worms every few centimeters would be helpful to process sediment.> Thanks,
<You're welcome!  -Mich>

Name That Critter, in 4 syllables or less, Sipunculid  2/12/07 Greetings <Greetings to you Thomas!  Mich here today.> While observing my tanks tonight I came across a previously unseen critter the likes of which I have not even heard of. It appeared inside a large rock opening. It was vase-like with tentacles at the mouth. It was a fleshy peach color, translucent and did not appear to be bothered by the light. The picture shows it. I could see maybe 1 1/4 Of its length and it was about 1/4 inch wide at the mouth. Any guesses as to what it is? <Mmm possibly a peanut worm (Sipunculid sp.) http://www.wetwebmedia.com/worms.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wormidfaq3.htm Many resemble the image dated 3/26/04 on the second page provided, but can appear differently as well.> Thanks
<You're welcome!  -Mich>
Thomas Moore

Mmm, more likely a Terebellid worm... RMF

Tube Worms  2/11/07 Hi, <Hi Adrian, Pufferpunk here.> I've a 55 gal tropical saltwater reef and fish tank.  In the past couple months, I noticed a lot of tiny, 0.5 cm, white tubes protruding from the live rocks.  What are they?  Do I need to worry? <Those are tiny tube/feather duster worms.  Beneficial filter feeders.   See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feather.htm~PP> Thx, Adrian

Unidentified Serpulid(?) Worm - 01/25/07 Hello, <<Greetings Joe>> First of all you guys are the best. <<Ahh, thank you for the kind words [sitting here with my chest puffed-out]>> Of course, you already know that. <<Mmm...but we would never say it out loud [grin]>> I have tried to research these strange creatures growing in my beautiful Saltwater tank but I have not been satisfied with any answers.  So I turn to you for help.  I am attaching 2 pictures of these creatures to help identify them. <<Nice pics...I have one of these in my system too>> They started as nothing on my live rock and then one day I started noticing a web-like net in various places throughout the tank.  Some of them would shoot out a tentacle at least eight-inches long to catch food and then slowly pull it back in and disappears.  Over the next few months I have noticed these creatures are growing tube structures and are now very visible. <<The "web-like net" or "tentacle" is typical of a Terebellid species, though these guys are bigger (1/4" tube opening) than those I've seen previously...but the calcareous-tube suggests a species of Serpulid worm>> I think they are irritating a couple corals but not certain because I have made a few changes in the tank and that could easily upset any one or all of them. <<Hmm...I've not noticed any such behavior/conditions re the specimen in my display>> The tank is very stable with excellent readings.  The weird part is I have had this tank for almost 6 years and nothing has been added. <<This is not unusual, new emergent life from the live rock is prone to "pop-up" from time to time as conditions become more favorable or it moves from a previously hidden location.  The example of this specimen in my system showed up after almost three years>> Only daily maintenance, just the standard stuff we all know to do in this hobby.  Please help so I know what to do. <<Well Joe, I honestly believe you don't need to do anything.  I'm doubtful the worm is a threat to your corals based on my own experience thus far.  While there are some "little nasties" about, this particular worm is most likely a harmless if not beneficial detritivore.  Perhaps someone will see the pictures and recognize/come forth with more specific information. Best Regards,
<<Cheers, EricR>>

Mmm, might be Vermetid snails. RMF

Algae? Yep, Aiptasia? Nope  8/28/06 hello crew! first of let me say that your site is hardcore awesome and greatly appreciated, especially to a saltwater novice! ok, I had asked a question before about my light set up, but now I have an algae problem! I have had my tank running for about 3 weeks;  30 gal., 15 watt 20,000k light, Penguin 200 BioWheel (a protein skimmer is the next purchase). my parameters are pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate between 10 & 20. I am looking to add a single dwarf zebra lion. <About all the life that should go in thirty gallons>   problem #1:  I have started to have an outbreak of brown algae on the glass and on the sand. It returns all over the sand within 3 days of siphoning. I know that I will have to be doing faithful water changes anyways with the lion, but is this normal? <Yep> I know that I cannot keep shrimp or crabs. not for long at least...and I have also read that sea stars can be difficult to keep. The only other critters I can think of are snails. How many would it take to make a difference for algae control? <Wouldn't go this route. See WWM re> I have attached a picture.   problem #2: I was checking out my LR when I noticed a tiny, white, flower shaped. thing. that would retract when approached. I thought it was neat, but after attempting to identify it, I'm afraid that I have "the weed"--Aiptasia.  I can only count about 4 or 5 of them right now. since I'm only going to have LR and the lion should I go through the measures of eradicating the creatures? I sneaked up on it and have attached a photo, let me know what you think.   thank you so much! you guys are lifesavers! <See the pinnules? These are "Featherduster" worms. "See WWM re". Bob Fenner>

Tubeworm ID help, Aiptasia ID   8/21/06 Hello Crew, I humbly ask your assistance in identifying some tubeworm-like hitchhikers that I have inherited on some live rock. Pictures attached. <Yep, nice and clear> They have grown from 3/4 of an inch to almost three inches long in six months.  I thought they were some type of tubeworm and harmless, but another hobbyist saw them and insisted they were poisonous, to be avoided at all costs and suggested that I get rid of them immediately. I like them as they seem to be thriving and are decorative. My tank has a Yellow Tang, Huma Huma Trigger, and a Coral Beauty Angel, and all have ignored the worms to date with no ill effects. Thanks for the help and keep up the great work. Rob <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm "and the linked files above". BobF>

Calcareous Tubeworms   6/17/06 Hola, <Que tal? Como lo pasaste?> I have a 30 gallon tank that has been established for a year now. Included in the tank is a yellow tang, a blue damsel, a domino damsel, and a percula clown fish. <Too crowded... particularly with the Dascyllus...> I also have plenty of live rock and snails/hermit crabs. Recently I noticed these white shelled red tip things growing in my tank. I have searched your site and I think they are called Calcareous Tubeworms. I'm not positive though. I attached a image that I drew in paint that looks like them. <Nice drawing... I do think you're spot on with this ID> Anyways these worms have been spreading rapidly all in my tank. Some of them are even growing bigger. The big ones are no bigger than your fingernail but they are becoming larger. I would like to know if these are going to be harmful to my tank in the future. Or can I just leave them in there because i think they look kind of cool. If they are harmful, what would be the best method removing them? Thanks, Ryan C. <Not harmful... actually beneficial in a few ways. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feathercompfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Worm Identification 7/17/05 Hi, first off I would like to thank you for having such a resourceful website. A week and a half ago I purchased a piece of live rock that have some decorative dead coral on it. When I brought it home I noticed that it had a tube on it, but thought nothing of it since live rock goes through a curing process. I figure it was just more decoration until I noticed this spider web made from mucous floating in my tank. Then I realized that my tube had a worm in it that uses this as a net to catch whatever it eats. I found my critter under your helpful site and you explained that it was a 'tubiculous polychaete'. <Yes!... or possibly a tube-dwelling snail... > I then found myself reading all your listing, but I am a little puzzled by my new addition. I have attached two photos and also found that I have two of them. A smaller one is underneath him and has only made two loops with his coil. He is alive as well since I see him sticking out his face. Is my 'tubiculous polychaete' just going to sit in my tank and fill it up with not so pleasant spider web nets, or will he grow a crown? <No crown...> If so, what time frame? In addition, since the little baby is not even close to the bigger ones size how long before he grows his crown, if any? Thanks ~Elena <No crowns... this species has a/the "net feeding" strategy. 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: