For years, I've been seeing lugworm poop on our beaches; I've dug down below the mounds often, the last time about a foot down. I've never seen a lugworm, except in books. Until this afternoon.
At the top of the intertidal zone, by the boat ramp at Beach Grove, I turned over one of the broken paving stones, and there was my first lugworm. So easy!
|Neapolitan lugworm, Abarenicola pacifica. The head is partially hidden in the sand ; it's trying to escape the light.|
|Here it is, clean, digging in. Plus an unidentified worm, probably a ribbon worm, also burrowing out of sight.|
The head end is greenish, the mid-section pink, and the long, thinner tail end is, at first glance, a creamy colour; this may have inspired the name, "Neapolitan"; it reminded someone of three-layer ice cream. I see the tail as more green and yellow, with a pink stripe down mid-back.
Along the sides of the mid-section are the bright red gills, just visible in this photo, half-buried in the sand as it is.
|With the sand washed off, this is a beautiful worm.|
|Lugworm castings, further down the beach.|
I never thought of turning the paving stones before. Of four that I flipped this afternoon, two had surprises. Tomorrow, I'll post photos of the second.