The Parchment Tube Worm (Chaetopterus variopedatus), or Gusano puro in Spanish, deters potential predators by emitting clouds of bioluminescent flashes or bright blue mucous from their tube. This attracts other predators. Why? Because when those new predators arrive, they just might feast on the worm’s original attacker—giving the worm a chance to escape. Parchment tube worms feed on diatoms (microscopic form of algae), and zooplankton (microscopic animals that live in water), and are preyed upon by fish and crustaceans.
This marine invertebrate makes a U-shaped burrow and resides in shallow intertidal zones and brackish, shallow sand or mudflats.
PHOTO CREDIT: Phil Garner