kleptoparasitism

Yellownose Goby peeks out of a Christmas Tree Worm

Christmas Tree Thief

July 27, 2020

When I became a diver, worms were among the first reef creatures to attract my attention. More accurately, it was the exposed crowns of frilly gills of Christmas Tree Worms, Spirobranchus giganteus, that drew my eye—so colorful, so appealing, so utterly unwormlike, and to Anna’s and my unending irritation, gone in a flash whenever we swam too close. While the worms’ long segmented bodies remain tucked away safe and sound inside strong calcareous tubes, their delicate crowns, vital for absorbing … Read more Christmas Tree Thief