Clam Worm

Nereis sp.

Image of a clam worm against a black background
Image by Alexander Semenov on Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Physical: Clam Worms have numerous parapodia (bristly appendages used in locomotion, respiration, and sensation) along their bodies. The species can measure up to 6 inches in length, and are usually a brown to reddish color.

Habitat: N. species are hardy, and can survive salinities from 1 to 25 parts per thousand. They are found in the lower intertidal zone to depths of over 350 feet in burrows of sand bonded with mucus.

Feeding: N. species are opportunistic feeders; they scavenge algae, invertebrates, and anything else in the area on the bottom.

Breeding: Breeding seasons vary with species, but are typically between March and June, when gonads appear as swellings on the organisms. Gametes are released and fertilization is external, with development carried on by larvae.

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