Christmas Tree Worm Body
The common name for these worms is derived from their appearance not their habitat or diet.
Christmas tree worm body. The rest of the worm s body is in a tube in the coral which is formed after the larval worm settles on the coral and then the coral grows around the worm the worm s legs parapodia and bristles chatae protected within the tube are about twice as large as the portion of the worm visible. The worms most distinct features are two crowns shaped like christmas trees. Christmas tree worms average only about 1 5 inches in length.
Typically the only part of the christmas tree worm visible is the crown which spirals downward similar in shape to a christmas tree the body of this species is hidden underneath the colorful crown. Each worm has two of these plumes which are used for feeding and respiration. Up to two thirds of the worm is anchored in the coral when its plumes are visible.
Each worm has two brightly colored crowns that protrude from its tube like body. Because it does not move outside its tube this worm does not have any specialized appendages for movement or swimming. Christmas tree worms have been found burrowing into giant clams instead of coral.
Christmas tree worms fir tree like appendages are also used for respiration collecting oxygen from the currents. The christmas tree worm is normally found in the aquarium store as several individuals attached to a small piece of rock or live rock rubble. They aren t very big averaging about 1 5 inches in length.
You won t find spirobranchus giganteus also known as the christmas tree worm eating your fir tree this year.
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