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Blue Christmas Tree Worm

Spirobranchus giganteus

Description:

"Christmas tree worms, Spirobranchus giganteus, are Christmas tree-shaped serpulid tube-dwelling worms with magnificent twin spirals of plumes used for feeding and respiration. These cone-shaped worms are one of the most widely recognized sedentary polychaete worms . They come in many colors including orange, yellow, blue, and white and, though they are small with an average 3.8 cm in span, they are easily spotted due to their shape, beauty, and color. The colorful plumes, or tentacles, are used for passive feeding on suspended food particles and plankton in the water. The plumes are also used for respiration. Though the plumes are visible, most of these worms is anchored in their burrows that they bore into live calcareous coral. Christmas tree worms are very sensitive to disturbances and will rapidly retract into their burrows at the slightest touch or passing shadow. They typically re-emerge a minute later, very slowly, to test the water before fully extending their plumes." Source: http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=543

Habitat:

Spirobranchus giganteus is commonly found embedded in entire heads of massive corals, such as stony corals like Porites and brain corals. Caribbean to Indo-Pacific

Notes:

Morning dive at a depth of about 5 m. Halo Anilao house reef, Batangas, Philippines

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20 Comments

Eric Noora
Eric Noora 8 years ago

Thanks Alex :-)

W1ldl1f3 1
W1ldl1f3 1 8 years ago

I love it!!!

Eric Noora
Eric Noora 8 years ago

Thanks OnengDyah and mcaul6515 :-)

mcaul6515
mcaul6515 8 years ago

That's a worm! Wow, nature is amazing!

OnengDyah
OnengDyah 8 years ago

Wouw..amazing..this is a frist time i seen it...

Eric Noora
Eric Noora 8 years ago

Thanks Reza! :-)

Wonderful !

Eric Noora
Eric Noora 8 years ago

Thanks you too backyardphotographer99. No problem on the follow. Cheers! :-)

Eric Noora
Eric Noora 8 years ago

Thanks Sandra, Karen, Carol, Leanne and Andrea for the kind comments. Cheers!

SandraPereira
SandraPereira 8 years ago

Wow ...never seen anything like this . Great capture !!

Caleb Steindel
Caleb Steindel 8 years ago

this is a must-favorite

KarenL
KarenL 8 years ago

Gorgeous!

Caleb Steindel
Caleb Steindel 8 years ago

Awesome job, Eric Noora. can i follow you? ;)

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 8 years ago

I have never seen anything like this. Gorgeous!

LeanneGardner
LeanneGardner 8 years ago

Incredible! I'd love to see these for myself. Thanks for sharing Eric.

AndreaLim
AndreaLim 8 years ago

Love the Christmas tree worms. Great spotting!

Eric Noora
Eric Noora 8 years ago

Gracias Gerardo :-)

Eric Noora
Eric Noora 8 years ago

Hi duttagupta. Yeah they can be pretty fast in retreating. What I do is really slowly approach and set the camera in zoom so no need to be really up-close. When they retreat I just wait - normally they go out again after a minute or so. By then I am in position already :-)

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 8 years ago

Wonderful shots Eric :)

duttagupta35504
duttagupta35504 8 years ago

Oh, I saw those while scuba diving! I love playing with them. :P I move a finger near by and watch them hurriedly retreat to their burrows. They're very pretty: how did you get such a good picture without scaring them?

Eric Noora
Spotted by
Eric Noora

Batangas, Philippines

Spotted on Mar 7, 2013
Submitted on Mar 7, 2013

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