Bearded Fireworm (Hermodice carunculata)

…a species of Amphinomid polychaete worm that occurs throughout the tropical western Atlantic, and the Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic. They are also known from the Mediterranean Sea and in coastal waters surrounding Cyprus and the Maltese archipelago. Bearded fireworms are commonly encountered in rocky reefs, and occasionally on muddy bottoms. They are voracious predators on soft and hard corals as well as other cnidarians.  When disturbed by predators (or humans) the bearded fireworm uses stinging bristles located along its body to deter attackers. 


Animalia-Annelida-Polychaeta-Aciculata-Amphinomidae-Hermodice-H. carunculata

Image: C-Ack