No one on the Aqua Cat knew what these "long worms" were???

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Just wondering if anyone new what these long worms were?? We were on a night dive in the Exhumas, along with thousands and thousands of "blood worms", when these long bluish green spaghetti like worms started coming out of the coral heads. None of our crew or captain or had ever seen these before! Does anyone have any idea??

long worms

Seen these in Turks & Caicos on the Explorer. No one there could identify them.


They could be nemerteans (ribbon worms), though it's difficult to tell from the photos. How large/long were they?

strange worms

OK so I've done a little bit of research and may have come up with an answer. IT WAS VERY STRANGE!!! But I've come to the conclusion that the long blue worms and the many short reddish worms swarming among them are either the same animal or different parts of the same animals.

First) I zoomed into the pictures and noticed that the long blue worms are round with segmented bodies and have small bristles along the body, thus they are annelids not nemerteans (flat unsegmented worms) this worms are round not ribbon-like. I went looking for segmented marine worms and came across very similar ones in the South Pacific called "palolo worms". the research stated that there are about or over 8000 species in most of the world oceans so if not the same these in the Bahamas may be closely related. please see these images and corresponding web site:

Looking for further info on palolo worms i found this site:
this is in the caribbean region but I didn't see the same looking worms, then i noticed the caption on the last picture. It seems to suggest that the reproductive part of the worm can swim freely, so i looked up the word epitoke and found this:

So in conclusion: I think the pictures are of a spawning event. Showing both the actual worms (long blue) and the epitokes (short red). in any case although not sure of the specific species, I'm sure the worms in questions are: in the Phylum Annelida, Class Polychaeta.

Strange worms

Thanks for your research on this matter! It was most interesting watching these "worms" come from the coral heads. Always fun to see something new. Guess that's why we keep diving!!! The other small worms were everywhere....the divemasters called them "bloodworms". It made for some interesting night diving. Thanks again!

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