In the sand at the bottom of my aquarium, there lives a worm. He's a shy critter, and I used to only see him when I cleaned the sand, sifting through it thoroughly. Even then, all I usually saw of him was his quickly disappearing curves. He moves fast, even in dense sand.
But he's been growing. The last time I caught him, he measured about 6 inches long; he can easily grow to four times that. And he's hungry. So hungry he's forgotten to be shy. When I drop shrimp pellets into the tank for the crabs and hermits, he comes out to get his share, quickly retreating into the sand once he's got a mouthful. But he comes back for more; it takes a lot of food for his long, fat body.
I tempted him with pellets right up against the glass.
|Pileworm, aka clam worm. Probably Nereis brandti.|
He's a segmented worm. Each segment has two sets of leafy "paddles" which help with movement, and also serve for respiration. On the head he has two fat palps and four sets of tentacles, two small antennae, a huge mouth, and four eyes. With all that sensory equipment, he responds instantly to any movement, or change in lighting. And he smells the food from far away, under the sand.
|Found a pellet, and opened that enormous mouth. One gulp, and it's gone.|