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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bunch (3-4) of these tubes growing around the base of my Finger leather. I'm assuming they harmless since the coral shows no Ill effects and just keeps growing. What type of creatures are these?



 

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2 things

Spionid worms maybe. BUT how big are those tubes. The look to big to be spionids

 

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Spionids or chaetopterids is my guess as well. In any event, my guess is that you don't have anything to worry about. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The largest one is about 3" long and they are about 1/8th to 1/4" in diameter maybe
 

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Then those are not spionids or chaetopterids. These are small/tiny worms, so it is either a serpulid or sabellid tube worm. It may be they have not stuck their head out all the way. Looking at that tube now, with dimensions in play, it looks like a sabellid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll have to try to watch them closer the tube in the 2nd pic I've never seen anything emerge the other one in the 1st pic looks like the spinoid worm but where it's positioned in the tank it's really hard to get a good pic
 

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It's a chaetopterid tube. You can tell by the structure - if it looks like a translucent drinking straw and especially if it has transverse rings it's a chaetopterid. That plus the 2 feeding appendages confirms it. Some chaetopterids get quite large so size isn't an issue here.
 

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No :D

They are not chaetopterids either. Although some get large, not these with this kind of tube. It is te '"U" tube type that get large, where the worm is in the buried in the sand.

You can not go by Kelly's image. That could be the head of a feather duster, that has lost the top sticking out or just part of the duster top. You also can not tell the difference really between a chaetopterid and a Spionid unless it is sittng in from of your face on a lab bench, under a scope. I think Leslie is looking at my pic and not the one at the top of this post. And my pic is a properly ID Spionid and not a Chaetopterid. However, chaetopterid tubes of this type, can get up to about two inches maybe and she is at three inches. Her pic is about a 3 " tube and to big in dia.


Finally, these worms grow in the sand and mud and hers is attached to a coral. They do not live that way. I should have said that right off. Got excited I guess :lol:
 

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Well, LeslieH is a real marine worm expert, so lets wait and see what she has to say about my post :) I'm helping here out on another issue and just found out what she does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cool Thanks Leslie and Boomer! Is it safe to say that whatever the id is they appear to be harmless to the coral?
 

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I certainly could be wrong but I think we'll have to agree to disagree about the animal in Kelly's picture. Of course we both could be wrong :funny: Animals other than polychaetes build tubes. We do agree about your image - it's a spionid.

Some chaetopterids get quite large. We have Chaetopterus specimens (only some of which make U-shaped tubes) in our collection which are 6 inches or more in length with tubes over a foot long. Not all of them live in soft sediments. I've often collected from coral reefs, rocks, algae, etc. Tubes of other types of chaetopterids like Spiochaetopterus, Phyllochaetopterus, and Mesochaetopterus reach over 10 feet in length. I've seen colonies of Phyllochaetopterus prolifica which were big enough to fill a couple of 5-gallon buckets. And some of us can really tell the difference between chaetopterids & spionids without a microscope. :)

Cheers, Leslie



BoomerMn said:
No :D

They are not chaetopterids either. Although some get large, not these with this kind of tube. It is te '"U" tube type that get large, where the worm is in the buried in the sand.

You can not go by Kelly's image. That could be the head of a feather duster, that has lost the top sticking out or just part of the duster top. You also can not tell the difference really between a chaetopterid and a Spionid unless it is sittng in from of your face on a lab bench, under a scope. I think Leslie is looking at my pic and not the one at the top of this post. And my pic is a properly ID Spionid and not a Chaetopterid. However, chaetopterid tubes of this type, can get up to about two inches maybe and she is at three inches. Her pic is about a 3 " tube and to big in dia.


Finally, these worms grow in the sand and mud and hers is attached to a coral. They do not live that way. I should have said that right off. Got excited I guess :lol:
 

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dobejazz said:
Cool Thanks Leslie and Boomer! Is it safe to say that whatever the id is they appear to be harmless to the coral?
Assuming it's a polychaete :funny: it's in more danger from your coral than the coral is from it!
 

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Les

Thanks for the new info on chaetopterids, that is new to me. There is not much to find on them. Maybe some day there will be a good book on marine poly's

And some of us can really tell the difference between chaetopterids & spionids without a microscope

I LOVE that statemnt as Ron say's you can't, so you made my day :D I should go find that worm pic I need ID. I have it somewhere, it is long, size of a pencil and really blue but no head in the image. A firend of mine told what he though it was. He is also a marine worm expert, only polyclads and their systematics, Mike Noren. Your webpage worm is cool.
 
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