Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Bobbit Snail

The Bobbit Worm
By Zachary Kaye


l Phylum: Annelida
l Class: Polychaete
l Order: Eunicida
l Genus: Eunis
l Species: Eunice Aphriditois


The Bobbit Worm (Eunice Aphriditois) is a marine polychaete that lives in depths of around 30 feet. It is a menacing predator and is also known as the Eunice Worm. It is a very rare polychaete and can only be found in select locations. It has only been found in Police Pier & Nudie Retreat in Lembeh, Indonesia, Basura, Phillipines, and Secret Bay, Bali, Indonesia. However, other members of the Eunis family can be found throughout regions of the Pacific Ocean, usually warmer waters.


The main body of the Bobbit Worm is a shell with approximately 29 legs on each side depending on the length of the animal.
It has 5 antennas on the top of its head that it uses to sense objects and to feed.
On the end of each antenna are sensory receptors.
It has a two piece jaw used for consuming its prey.
They have a pair of eyes; however they are not very useful.

Form and Function:

Bobbit Worms burrow into the ground, which is usually sandy sentiment. They wait there most of the time unless food is scarce, in which they will scout out for food. When prey swims or crawls nearby, the Bobbit Worm senses it with its sensory receptors on each of its antennae, and lashes out, ambushing and eating its prey. It has been known to attack so quickly that it slices the animal in half. It will then pull it into its mouth, where its sharp teeth tear up the prey and prepare it for digestion. Even though they do have eyes, they do not help much in regards to feeding. Some species of Eunice have bristles on their body that are capable of stinging humans and leaving them with permanent numbness.


Bobbit Worms are called broadcast spawners, which means that the male and female shoot their sperm and eggs into the water. The egg and sperm meet and the egg are fertilized and soon start to grow. There is no copulation or formal mating as the males and females never actually touch each other. Only a select amount of Bobbit Worms look after their young after they are born, and even these species do so minimally. Some also produce egg cocoons; however will not even feed their young. Reproduction occurs when the worm is usually around 3 inches long. This means that they are very young when they reproduce, saying that they can live to be up to three meters long.

Impact on the World:

Unfortunately, Bobbit Worms do not have an impact on humanity. This is most likely because of the lack of knowledge of these animals. The only slight impact would be controlling the population of animals that they feed off of.

Journal/Article Review:

A four foot “sea monster” had been destroying coral at the Newquay Aquarium, located in the UK. Workers had been curious as to what had been destroying all the coral. Not being able to find out what it was they dismantled the whole aquarium space rock by rock. While doing so they discovered Barry, the four foot-long Bobbit Worm. Not only was this one of the longest Bobbit Worms ever found, but it was one of the species that contained the bristles capable of leaving permanent numbness. Studies are being done on the bristles and how exactly they work.
Video of Feeding:

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