Scale Worms

Scale Worms (Branchinotogluma tunnicliffae)

Scaleworms on Escargot vent at Axial Seamount are typically pink. The one in the foreground dines on a clam.

Scale worms are flat-bodied, segmented polychaetes that are very commonly observed roaming through tube worms and ciliate colonies on hydrothermal vents at Axial Seamount. They are often bright fuchsia in color, however they can also carry a fur-like coat of white filamentous bacteria. When they molt, they have a lighter pink shade. These worms are scavengers, and have also been observed to attack the Ridgeia tube worms (see the video). They are approximately 3 cm in length.

Marine Life Field Guide (Neptune Canada)