Video Week Day 3: Worm Battle

Alright – so I have to admit, today’s video might not be interesting to most people, but I find it pretty fascinating… so bear with me. On one of the dives, my friend Laura pointed out a long white worm with dark bands around it. It couldn’t have been more than a few millimeters thick but since I never saw the whole thing, I couldn’t tell you how long it was (and as you’ll see in the video, it seems to be able to stretch and contract pretty dramatically). Laura asked around and the best ID ideas we got were either Tubulanus riceae or Tubulanus rhabdotus. During a subsequent dive, I found another of the same kind of worms, but this time it was actively attacking a Feather Duster Worm. Normally when even slightly disturbed, Feather Duster Worms quickly retreat into their tubes and only reemerge after a few minutes. I have never seen a Feather Duster Worm twist in circles like this before, nor have I ever been able to see the body of the worm that lives inside the tube, so seeing that was quite interesting. I am not sure if the Tubulanus worm was trying to actually attack the Feather Duster Worm itself or if it was just trying to scavenge bits of food caught it in the Feather Duster Worms radioles (the feather parts it uses to catch food floating by). In the end, I watched this interaction for over five minutes and when I left it was still going on. Just another of the cool things you get to see underwater when you slow down and actually observe the little stuff…

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One thought on “Video Week Day 3: Worm Battle

  1. Laura Kushner

    August 4, 2022 at 8:09pm

    Very cool. I sent the link to this video to the worm expert that helped ID it, Leslie Harris.

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