Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in
Sections
You are here: Home Blog Bobbit worms really are the stuff of nightmares

Bobbit worms really are the stuff of nightmares

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 29, 2017 09:00 AM
Bobbit worms (Eunice aphroditois) are about as terrifying a worm as you'll ever see. These predatory worms can grow to scary length - over 2 meters/6 feet - and pack toxins to immobilize their prey. And yes, they've been known to hitchhike on live rock.

Here's an unpleasant thought.  Monstrous worms do exist, and they can sometimes sneak into home aquaria.  If you're suddenly and unexplainably missing fishes and entire coral colonies, you may have a monster in your tank.  Here are three accounts of bobbit worms sneaking into reef tanks that will keep any reefkeeper up at night.

The first such account is the famous bobbit worm found in a LFS (Maidenhead Aquatics) in Woking, UK.  The staff made the startling discovery while performing maintenance on their 200 liter (50 gallon) reef tank.  More frighteningly still, upon handling, the worm separated into three sections.  While the tail section eventually died, the two other sections survived.  The lesson to be learned: if you discover a bobbit worm in your reef tank, don't try to hack it to death.  You may just double your trouble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=refnOdW49rw

 

While he was tearing down his reef, this British reefkeeper (the Brits sure have bad luck with bobbits!) discovered a 3-foot-long worm had been hiding in his aquarium.  This worm became a viral internet sensation for obvious reasons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-JWkiIozGI

 

And to prove it's not just the Brits who find bobbit worms in their reef tanks, this was American reefkeeper Steve Weast's (AKA Oregon Reef) jaw-dropping 7-foot-long Eunicid (read his story here) he discovered living inside PVC rock-support structure.

I read this story in the early 2000s, and it was the first time I realized that these terrifying worms hitchhiked into aquariums.  I am not afraid to admit it that for months, this made me seriously question sticking my hands in dark areas within my own reef tank.

weastbobbit.jpg

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

Document Actions
Filed under:
blog comments powered by Disqus

blog_sm.jpg

Contribute to our blogs!


Do you have news or discussion topics you want to see blogged?  Let us know!

 

ADVANCED AQUARIST