Reddish worm...

Discussion in 'ID Needed' started by Jaco Schoeman, 5 Mar 2009.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hi guys. Saw this "alien" in my tank the other night. Have been trying my best to get some pics but it is VERY shy. Does not come out when the lights are on. It can withdraw itself at the speed of light!!!

    It is a worm that is redish. It look like a shongololo, with tentacles the works. It has a funny shiny look, almost like the wings of a dragonfly. It is hard to tell how ling it is, but I saw about 5cm of it. It is also about 3-5mm thick. I know this much, it is not one of those "earthworm" type of worms, as I can see its' exo-skeleton is hard.

    Verdict please: Good guy or bad guy? (Does not seem to be eating anything it shouldn't at present.)

    This by the way was the best photo I could manage. This is the head...

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Jaco,

    Could be a bristleworm , but difficult to tell from the pic.

    Bristleworms are generally good guys so I'd keep him.
    Unless of course you see him causing damage to corals.

    Just a thought;)
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2009
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    I agree with Apollo - definitely looks like a bristleworm - but, as Apollo said - difficult to make a 100% ID.
     
  5. brettb2020

    brettb2020

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    dont think its a bristle worm. i have one of those red worms too. looks like a centipede almost. would also like to get an ID. just caught one in my net while change my LR around. will post a pic now now
     
  6. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    Fireworm?
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Kunhardt - the "Fireworm" is just a synonym or alternative name for the bristleworm... exact same thing....
    They call it the "fireworm", because the bristles BURN like HELL when you get stung by the bristles.... :)
     
  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I agree with brett. Bristleworms REALLY struggle under the rule of my arrow crab. And bristles have - well bristles. This one is smooth, and yes, does look like a centipede. It's face really resembles that of a snail, with all the antenae / feelers. This thing also diggs through my coarse gravel like a knife through butter. Makes me think of those worms on the movie DUNE...
     
  9. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    Really? i was always told they were two different worms. If you google them u even get different pics. But ya i believe they do BURN. :)
     
  10. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Very interesting Jaco. Brett. I have never seen these worms that you two are describing. Do you perhaps have a pic?

    Kunhardt - what worm do you get when you google "fireworm"?
    This is what I get, when I google "fireworm":
    [​IMG]

    And:
    [​IMG]

    Both of these have bristles - right? I agree - their scientific naming might be different - but generically, the worms gets grouped in a single "simple" group called fireworms.....

    I could be wrong, though.
    Anyone else have anything more / better on this topic?
     
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    So - Jaco - does any of the pictures I have posted look anything like what you have?
     
  12. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Not at all. As I mentioned, if it was a bristle it would've been dead. The bristle worms also has a soft body. This worm I got has (waht looks like) a hard exo skeleton. The same as shrimps. I realy does look like a sentipede. It is just so difficult to get a nice pic of it.

    Reffer back to the photo at the top. It is coming from gehind that rock. What you see there is only the head. It's "nose" is blood read, and then you can see the white antenae on the head. It has about 3 on each side of the head - some longer than others... Thats another big difference to bristles, as you can never really see the head and eyes of a bristles - this you can... Not sure how big bristels can get, but as I mentioned, I saw this one being 5cm long and the rear end was still under the LR. Bristles are also more flatish, this is a round worm, like a centipede.
     
  13. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Jacques, I agree with you.

    Both the "common" bristle worm and the fireworm belong the family called Amphinomidae. There are more than 15 different species of bristleworms , with fireworms comprising 4-5 of these species.
     
  14. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Jaco,

    Does the picture below resemble your critter ?

    [​IMG]

    A coastal centipede - Strigamia maritima
     
  15. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Almost, but I think I found it... will submit a pic and the link soon... SCARY STUFF!!!!!!!!
     
  16. Apollo

    Apollo

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    He he ...

    Sounds interesting :p

    We'll await the pic.
     
  17. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Ladies and gentleman, I present to you: Eunice / Bobbit worms!!!

    [​IMG]

    Worms in the genus Eunice, sometimes called "bobbit" worms are, if anything, more impressive than their Palola cousins. Eunice is a large genus, with well over 150 species, and it is hard to generalize about them. As with the Palola, they have five antennae, including one in the center of the forehead and they all have jaws, in some cases wicked, scimitar shaped hooks with accessory spines and hooks. These are not jaws for chewing the prey or food item, but rather are jaws designed to ensure the food that, once seized, never gets away. Some of these worms get very large; the largest I have seen reported from reef tanks was in excess of 6 feet long, and individuals of Eunice aphroditois may be much larger. Eunice individuals tend to live in mucus-lined borrows in rock or sediments and may have several entrances to their tubes. Two distinct kinds of worms seem to be represented in this genus. One kind, which is benign in reef tanks, seems to be mostly scavenging its food. It lives in a burrow in the sediment, or more rarely, in a burrow in the rocks. When feeding, one of these worms will slowly extend from its burrow. They typically have four to six eyes and are quite capable of detecting motion outside the aquarium, and across the room. It will slowly search the surrounding area for food and if bothered by a fish, or its own shadow, will retract into its burrow with a velocity that has to be seen to be believed. Contraction back into a burrow has been clocked in excess of 20 feet per second, and if only a couple of feet of the worm are visible while it is foraging, that worm can disappear, quite literally, in the blink of an eye.
    All of the large Eunice individuals that I have heard about in reef aquaria seem to be scavengers. However, the largest Eunice individuals seen in nature are impressive predators. Individuals have been reported to strike upward from the sediment surface, grab a four-inch long fish swimming above the sediment, pull it under the sediment and presumably snack on it at its leisure. Such worms are also reported to be an inch in diameter and about thirty to fifty feet long, making them a bit larger than most home aquaria could accommodate.
    There are also smaller species of Eunice, and these seem to be reported from time to time in aquaria. They generally appear to be harmless scavengers, however, even I, a self-proclaimed vermophile, would consider them amongst the "usual suspects" if some small fish such as fire fish or small gobies disappeared without a trace.
    Regardless of the size of its individuals, the major characters for identification for the identification of eunicid species would be the absence of white tufts of setae, and the presence of five large and visible antennae (large relative to the worm, not the aquarist), such antennae are typically about two to three body diameters in length. Colors are secondary characters with these animals, but the Palola worms are often dark colors, while the Eunice individuals are, typically, shades of brown.

    Link: Polychaete Annelid Identification, or “You Can Always Tell A Bristle Worm… by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com
     
  18. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! I feel honored, and only charge R50 per person to come and TRY to view this creature!!!
     
  19. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    Probably not something u want in your tank Jaco, i remember Apollo thought he had one in his tank...like your info says they may eat your fish :p
     
  20. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    [​IMG]
    Fireworm pic
    [​IMG]
    Bristle worm pic

    From what i read the "fireworm" has finer brisles which can stick in your corals and cause harm? While the bristleworm was harmless and generally viewed as ok to have.
     
  21. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Jaco,

    If I were you , I would still try and get a good pic of the worm in your tank.

    If in fact you do have a Bobbit worm ...... Do take care.

    They are nasty pieces of work. I did some extensive research on them , when I thought I might have one.
    They can and will get quite large , even in reef tanks. Removing them is a mission.

    The bigger they get , the greater the threat to small livestock.

    Having said that : I'd love to see a live one in a tank.
    So.. post some piccies ;)
     
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