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Northern feather duster worm

Eudistylia vancouveri


The Feather Duster Worm is a member of one of the largest groups of marine worms called the Polychaetes. The Feather Duster Worm will partly emerge to feed on small planktonic plants and animals using a large (up to 2 inches) plume shaped feeding devise that reminded early marine biologists of a feather duster. Detecting motion using small but sensitive eye spots, the Feather Duster Worm will instantly pull its plume back into its tube at the slightest hint of danger, however the withdrawn tentacles lack a trap door to seal the tube. The flexible, leathery, parchment-like tubes are attached to hard surfaces and can extend for a foot or more. The tubes often intertwine forming a refuge for other marine animals.


Spotted at low tide at Tongue Point Marine Sanctuary.

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26 Comments (1–25)

Brian38 2 years ago

I wish I had more time to explore the coast along there.

KarenSaxton 2 years ago

That's not very far from the Ferry landing! There was a time we made fairly frequent trips that way to visit friends in Canada.

Brian38 2 years ago

Thank you, Hema.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 2 years ago

beautiful spotting!

Brian38 4 years ago

Thank you Leuba and Sarah for the kind comments. This was an exciting find and can't wait to go back in the spring to see them again and look for other creatures in the tide pools.

SarahWhitt 4 years ago

WOW!! These are FANTASTIC!!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 4 years ago

You do have some great specimens to show off ! Those plumes are a gorgeous colour. I didn't know that the tubes were flexible. Great spotting ! Thanks.

Brian38 5 years ago

Thanks for asking thorton20. The name simply came from early marine biologist who thought that the worms plume resembled a feather duster.

thornton20 5 years ago

Not to be rude

thornton20 5 years ago

Feather duster??
Why is it named that?

Brian38 5 years ago

Thank you Robert, Tukup and Mauna for your kind words. Thank you Daniele for the nomination.

mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah 5 years ago

Congrats on your SOTW nomination, Brian! :D

Tukup 5 years ago

Congratulations Brian. This is a beautiful critter and well-deserving of the nomination for SOTW.

DanielePralong 5 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated Brian!

triggsturner 5 years ago

Stunning Brian. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Brian38 5 years ago

Thank you Liana, Mark and Neil.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

An amazing spotting, Brian. Fantastic creatures, and the colours are gorgeous. The last two photos put everything into perspective. I don't recall seeing anything like this in our waters.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Wow nice spotting. I'll have to look closer neat visit to our shoreline.

armadeus.4 5 years ago

Love the colours on this critter. It really does look like a feather duster...I can almost imagine plucking one to use for dusting :D Wonderful series. Thank you for sharing Brian :) Liana

Brian38 5 years ago

Thanks for the kind words everybody. It would be interesting to see the actual worm. I also wonder why is the feathery plume is so colorful ?

Tukup 5 years ago

Amazing things you find Brian. Another winner. Thanks.

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic 5 years ago

wow. Stunning.

DanielePralong 5 years ago

Oh my, the colors!

SukanyaDatta 5 years ago

I knew I had to see it on a computer screen...not on a mobile. I was right. This is wonderful. Your tide pools are fantastic...I want one!!!

Brian38 5 years ago

Thank you very much Lauren.

Spotted by

Port Angeles, Washington, United States

Spotted on Apr 20, 2019
Submitted on Apr 28, 2019

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