Monday, July 11, 2011

Bearded Fireworm

Hermodice carunculata
I was really excited to find out that a Fireworm is actually a real thing... but that it lives underwater! Bearded Fireworms, which lives in the tropical Atlantic, get their names from the horrible burning sensation you feel if you get stung by one of their bristles! Though the bristles inject a painful neurotoxin, the Bearded Fireworms aren't aggressive toward humans. Don't touch them, and they won't sting you.

Bearded Fireworms are Annelids, segmented works that have their own entire Phylum! These specific worms have flat bodies that come in a wide range of camouflaging colors. On their sides are the aforementioned long bristles that will flare out when the worm feels threatened.

Coral is a particular favorite food of the Bearded Fireworm. They attach themselves to the tips of the coral and suck the little creatures right out of their skeletons.

Bearded Fireworms also have quite a nifty little mating process. When the time comes to procreate, the females will swim up to the surface of the ocean and let off a green phosphorescent glow. The males then flash little lights of their own, before both of them release their sex cells.

IUCN Status :  Not Listed
Location : Atlantic Ocean
Size : Length around 4in (10cm)
Classification : Phylum : Annelida -- Class : Polychaeta -- Order : Aciculata
Family : Amphinomidae -- Genus : Hermodice -- Species: H. carunculata

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful creatures! They remind me of nudibranchs.


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