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Bristle Worms


morinry

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I Have a Picotope only a couple weeks old and I noticed a bristle worm a little while ago. I read on the net that they are good cleaners when small but may become predatory when large. Today I got to see his full length as he came out looking for food and hes gotta be like 8-9 inches! Any experiance with these things? Should I kill him as I plan on starting with some begginer corals in another couple weeks.

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No, it is a complete myth that larger bristle worms are somehow going to be more dangerous than smaller individuals. However, bristle worm is the term for the class Polychaeta, which includes 10,000+ species.

 

If you have a pic, please show it. Otherwise, look below for some help. Odds are your worm is a fire worm, which are harmless scavengers (actually great CUC members) except for Hermodice carunculata.

 

http://www.chucksaddiction.com/hitchworms.html

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Well I dont have a digi cam right now but yeah hes realy red except for the back half which is greyish. Upon flashlight inspection tonite I realised I have about 5 somehow...They all vary in size

 

No, it is a complete myth that larger bristle worms are somehow going to be more dangerous than smaller individuals. However, bristle worm is the term for the class Polychaeta, which includes 10,000+ species.

 

If you have a pic, please show it. Otherwise, look below for some help. Odds are your worm is a fire worm, which are harmless scavengers (actually great CUC members) except for Hermodice carunculata.

 

http://www.chucksaddiction.com/hitchworms.html

 

 

Actualy thanks for that website I found it under bristle worms it is a Eurythoe complanata which is apparently a harmless scavenger, thanks!

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Yes, I don't have any (except for two tiny herbivores) in my current rocks, but a lot of members have similar worms with that are half orange and half grey-blue (with the noticeable white bristles characteristic of fireworms).

 

edit: I'm glad you found it.

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Looks like you got some good info from lakshwadeep. I've never experienced any trouble with bristle worms. Just be careful, you do not want to touch one.

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Looks like you got some good info from lakshwadeep. I've never experienced any trouble with bristle worms. Just be careful, you do not want to touch one.

 

Are they poisonous? or do they just have a good bite

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the little hairs get into your skin and irritate just like getting fiber glass in your skin (well some may have a worse reaction but that is atypical)

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Are they poisonous? or do they just have a good bite

Toxic bristles, hence the name. They break off and stick in the skin and stings.

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The bristles are going to hurt if you touch them. Fire worms can't bite because they don't have jaws (also a reason they won't harm fish).

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*TRUST ME* it hurts to get stuck by one. I had a small infestation in my new Pico tank from the previous owner and I was going to leave them alone until I managed to bump one with my thumb. Took a week for the pain to go away. Now its *GAME ON* every time I catch one out in the open! Out come the forceps and out goes the worm!

 

Oh and other than that they are good CUC members.

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Ok, I'm confused on this particular hitchiker. are BWs a hitch hiker that you would want, or try to remove completely?

They are beneficial. You want them. Those who don't, remove them. Either way is okay. I have lots of them.

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