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Christmas Tree Worm on coral - Spirbranchus giganteus

By Pollyjc
From Wikipedia
The worm is aptly named, both its common and Latin names refer to the two chromatically hued spiral structures, the most common feature seen by divers. The multicolored spirals are highly derived structures for feeding and respiration.

Spirobranchus giganteus is similar to most tube-building polychaetes. It has a tubular, segmented body lined with chaeta, small appendages that aid the worm's mobility. Because it does not move outside its tube, this worm does not have any specialized appendages for movement or swimming.

The worms' most distinct features are two "crowns" shaped like Christmas trees. These are highly modified prostomial palps, which are specialized mouth appendages. Each spiral is composed of feather-like tentacles called radioles, which are heavily ciliated and cause any prey trapped in them to be transported to the worm's mouth. While they are primarily feeding structures, S. giganteus also uses its radioles for respiration; hence, the structures commonly are called "gills."

Tags: Coral Underwater photography Wildlife and nature

Voters: PhilT2, ddolfelin, NDODS and 15 more


ddolfelin Plus
10 103 3 Wales
11 Feb 2016 9:49AM
Fabulous work! Full of detail and colour.
A great write up too.

I uploaded a Polly today.
NDODS 11 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
11 Feb 2016 10:02AM

A wonderfully detailed marine capture

Thanks for sharing Polly

Regards NathanGrinGrinGrin
fotobee 8 4 3 South Africa
11 Feb 2016 10:45AM
Lovely indeed, Polly ! Regards Martim
11 Feb 2016 11:28AM
Oh my goodness - just seen this !!! Polly, it's brilliant.

11 Feb 2016 1:10PM
Superb macro captureSmile

11 Feb 2016 2:13PM
Fabulous capture
11 Feb 2016 6:57PM

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