Spirobranchus giganteus, commonly known as the Christmas tree worm, is a tube-building polychaete worm.
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 hence its name Christmas Tree Worm.
Spirobranchus giganteus is similar to most tube-building polychaetes. It has a tubular, segmented body of an approximate length of 3.8 cm (1.5 in) covered with chaetae, 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, Spirobranchus giganteus also uses its radioles for respiration; hence, the structures commonly are called “gills”.
Rescue the Ocean with your Purchase!
All income goes towards our Marine Life Conservation Projects!
Have a look at our other merchandise!
Interested to join us as a Marine Life Conservation Volunteer?
Check it out here
Another way to help us is with your donation or buy one of our merchandise items. All income from the Items sold goes to our Marine Life Conservation Projects.
Are you interested in Scuba Diving? Come Join us at Poseidon Dive Center and do a Dive Course or Join us for a FunDive as a certified Diver.
Color dani-sasse #7ded49