a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
The surprisingly beautiful 'worms' of the tropical coral reefs
Like the 'Feather Duster Worms' of the Family Sabellidae, these worms also have two fans extending from the tube, however they differ in that the tube is hard and made from calcium carbonate. When disturbed they withdraw quickly and seal their tube off with the operculum.
Protula bispiralis, 'Magnificent Tube Worm'. Two relatively large spires, with several beautifully delicate whorls. Orange and cream in colour. Tube often extending obviously from reef. (Rajah Ampat, Indonesia).
Spirobranchus, 'Christmas Tree Worms'. Small and very common 'fluffy' feeding tentacles that usually grow out of the top of Boulder Coral in groups, and appear in many different colours. The tentacles suck back in quickly when the snorkeller gets too close (Rajah Ampat, Indonesia).
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.