Animals that live in hard tubes
How to tell them apart?
updated Apr 2020

Tubes on hard places These hard coiling tubes are often found stuck to hard surfaces such as boulders, rocks, jetty pilings. Here's more on how to tell apart the animals that create these tubes.

Vermetid snails
Phylum Mollusca, Class Gastropoda
Family Vermitidae
Phylum Annelida, Class Polychaeta
Family Serpulidae
Tubes made by snails such as vermetids are glossy on the inside because of a deposit of nacre (mother-of-pearl), and made up of three layers. Tubes made by worms such as keelworms are dull on the inside and made up of two layers.
Vermetid snails don't have a feathery fan on their heads. They collect food by secreting a net of mucus. Keelworms have a feathery fan on their heads. This is extended when they are submerged to filter edible bits.

More comparisons

Tubeworms belong to Class Polychaeta
and build soft tubes.

Fanworms belong to Class Polychaeta,
Family Sabellidae and build soft tubes.

Phoronid worms belong to Phylum Phoronida
and build tubes made out of chitin.

how to tell apart animals that create soft tubes
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