worm colony (#45A, added 7 Jan '98)

This is a close shot of a worm colony, which normally consists of dozens of similar rigid tubes sheltering serpulid worms. The worms use their exposed tentacles to catch drifting bits of food. They are extremely sensitive to changes in light and will withdraw completely within a split second if disturbed. The tubes are small, with an inner diameter of a pencil lead, and are usually found in shaded areas underneath coral heads, out of direct sunlight.

The original co-authors of the species description of
F. elatensis are Dr. Jacob Dafni and Dr. N. Ben-Eliahu, both describing specimens from the Red Sea near Eilat, the southernmost city of Israel. Dr. Dafni says this species is "extremely fragile and sensitive to pollution". The health of this species of worm can thus be a strong indicator of the overall health of its hosting reef.

Filogranella elatensis

related links:

Dr. Jacob Dafni's web site guide: mollusks
Dr. Jacob Dafni's web site guide: corals

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