Another great shot by Alexander Semenov!
Alitta virens is an annelid worm that burrows in wet sand and mud. It is classified as a polychaete in the family Nereididae .
Sandworms make up a large part of the live sea-bait industry. “Sandworming”, or the harvesting of sandworms from mudflats, employs over 1,000 people in Maine. As of 2006, the population of sandworms had diminished greatly over the preceding years due in large part to overharvesting before the worms are mature and able to reproduce.
Sandworms eat seaweed and microorganisms. They have distinctive traits, including:
- often reaching great length, sometimes exceeding four feet
- numerous, highly vascularized parapodia* along both sides of their bodies
- blue heads with two large pincer teeth
*The parapodia function both as external gills (the animal’s primary respiratory surfaces), and as means of locomotion (appearing much like short legs). Source
Solar-powered Sea Slug
Oceanic Carpet Worm
animalisticos: Alitta virens by Alexander Semenov on Flickr.