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worms > Phylum Annelida > Class Polychaeta
Gregarious tubeworm
awaiting identification*
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This worm is commonly seen on sand bars at the low water mark and on stones on the mid water mark, usually near seagrasses. The thin tubes of large numbers of the worm form shaggy rugs that people often overlook and simply step on!

Features: The tubes are thin, 1-2mm in diameter. The thin, brown tubes are often mistaken for seagrass roots or stems. Densely packed together, the tubes look like a hairy rug left on the shore. Sometimes, a colony can cover several metres. The actual animals are thin and long, thus described as thread-like.

What does it eat?
It is a deposit feeder, eating sediments and digesting the organic, edible bits.

Role in the habitat: The worms and their tubes might play a role in keeping sediments down and creating mounds that trap pools of water at low tide for small creatures to shelter in. Seagrasses and seaweeds often grow among the mat of tubes.

Forming a shaggy rug among
more dispersed Straw tubeworms.

Chek Jawa, Dec 07

Cyrene Reef, Mar 07

Changi, Jan 12

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Gregarious tubeworms on Singapore shores

Photos of Gregarious tubeworms for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

With grateful thanks to Leslie H. Harris of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for comments about these worms.
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