Howies Scuba

 Marine Life Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving

Fan, Tube & Sausage Worms
(collectively known as Polychaete Worms)


European Fan Worm aka Giant Fan Worm

(Sabella spallanzani)

The European Fan-worm is common at the dive sites. If you gently disturb the water around the fan-worm the fans will quickly dart back into the tube, if you take a moment afterwards you will see the fans slowly re-appear.

Click on the picture on the left to how beautiful these fans are.

 Southern Fan Worm aka Feather Duster Worm

(Sabellastarte australiensis)

Unlike the Giant Fan-worm, the Feather Duster-worm is indigenous to the local waters, it is believed that the introduction of the European Fan-worm is having a detrimental effect on this species.

Red Tube Worm
(Protula sp)

Red Tube-worm is a small worm, they are abundant around areas of encrusting marine-life.

(left) Red Tube-worm poking out of the orange ascidian, reminds me of a Lion.

Photograph 4 is only time I have seen the tube of this worm not covered or buried.

Unknown Purple Tube Worm
Protula sp)
Photographed at Trigg Beach.

Tangled Tube Worm

(Filograna implexa)

1st photo,  it was only after reading one of my books that I realised what this was, and I was surprised that this contains hundreds of small worms. I just thought it was a some broken off debris, I wish I had taken a closer look.

When reviewing some old photographs I came across this one above right and I am wondering if this is the same thing showing off the worms. The original photograph was taken from about 2 meters so its not very clear.

Well I guess I was right, as these recent set of photographs show what the Tangled Tube Worm looks like.

Since taking these I have noticed these worms everywhere, and I actually can't think of a dive site that I haven't seen them at.

Once you have seen them once, you will at some point notice some massive aggregations at some of the dive sites, especially under ledges on the reef dives.


Tiny Tube Worm

(Polydorella prolifera)

I have absolutely loads of photographs of what I believed to have been Tiny Tube Worms however it wasn't until July 2011 that I achieved to actually identify a genuine Tiny Tube Worm. Unfortunately I wasn't photographing them and noticed accidentally when reviewing the days photographs, so the quality is not the best.

The difficulty with identifying these worms is that they can be mistaken for waste products of marine life.

Unidentified Tube Worm

Possibly Tusk Worm (Pectinaria antipoda)

Photographed at Jervoise Bay Woodmans Point.

This is a quite attractive tube worm, with very small flowery tentacles, these are quite abundant at Jervoise Bay but I have not encountered them anywhere else as of yet whilst diving the Perth shoreline.

Purple Sausage Worm

(Myxicola infundibulum)

Photograph taken at Robbs Jetty.

When disturbed these little worms move lightening fast, retracting into its tube.

Bottom photographs showing colour variation, whether this constitutes a different naming I am unsure.


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