|X-mas tree worm finds a home in Orbicella faveolata|
The visible part that we see is called the crown and contains two spiraled plumes. If you look at the plumes from the side you can see why they get the name christmas tree worm. The rest of the worm is not visible, but altogether the worms body is bigger than what is visible. Like other worms in the phylum Annelida and class Polychaeta, they have parapodia and chatea. In other Annelids parapodia and chatae aid in motility but as an adult they are sessile, or not motile.
|Photo's by Antonio Aidan Arruza|
The plumes have two functions, feeding and respiration. Christmas tree worms passively feed on suspended particles and phytoplankton using tentacles with pinnules attached for filtering food that flows by via currents.
|pinnules visible (tiny yellow, brown, and white hairs sticking off the tentacles)|