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Bungee worm?


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#1 laz217

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 03:24 PM

Anyone have any idea what in the world this is? Those arm-like appendages come out of the ground and appear to be searching for food similar to the spaghetti worms although they are much more colorful. Any movement nearby usually makes them retract the arms completely underground.

Is there a common name for these things?
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#2 frogfish

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 12:24 AM

You're sure they're not part of something like a lobster?
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#3 laz217

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 10:34 AM

It seems pretty unlikely they are lobsters. The {arms} are about 2mm in thickness and come out from the sand. They most resemble the arms of a brittle star fish but lack the cilia-like texture. They seem to extend from inside a tube-like structure. I tend to find them in muck-like environments.
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#4 Leslie

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 11:50 AM

Hi Laz --

This looks like it might be one of my guys, polychaete worms (fans, feather dusters, spagettis, bobbits, etc). There are a number of families in the group which have 2 or more main appendages coming off the head. These appendages often have chemo-receptors which they use to sense food. In your picture the two "arms" look more like the antennae of a bobbit than the food gathering tentacles of a spagetti worm. Some bobbit species are really shy. I heard Roger Sterne got his pictures by using a dead fish on a string to lure one out!
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#5 Leslie

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 11:56 AM

Oops, took a closer look... the arms have grooves running down their length which means they are feeding tentacles, not sensory. So if this is a polychaete, it's more like a spionid or chaetopterid. Unfortunately pictures of these kinds of worms almost never show up in guide books.
Leslie :oops: