Bristle Worm

Subject:  Imposter from Japan?
Geographic location of the bug:  Cannon Beach, Oregon
Date: 11/09/2018
Time: 12:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found on the beach, November 9, 2018. Was in shallow sea water.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious Salemites, Lisa & Steve

Bristle Worm

Dear Curious Salemites,
We have an image in our archives also from Oregon that we previously tentatively identified as a Marine Worm in the genus
Glycera, and this image from APhotoMarine supports that identification.

Update:  November 11, 2018
Thanks to a comment from Rusty, we were informed of the common name Bristle Worm.  We searched that and found The Chesapeake Bay Program site that indicates Bristle Worms are in the class  Polychaeta
and this information is provided:  “Bristle worms are soft, segmented worms found along shorelines, mud flats and shallow waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. … Bristle worms have soft, segmented bodies with tiny, hair-like bristles along each side. The bristles are attached to appendages called parapodia. Each body segment has one pair of parapodia, which vary in shape depending on the species. Most worms have a head with eyes, antennae and sensory palps.”   According to Scenic Oregon:  “Polychaete worms, of the group Polychaeta, are annelids (segmented worms) that have “legs”– called parapodia– with bristles at the ends.  Some polychaetes, especially types of tubeworms, resemble palm trees, with a plume of frond-like appendages at the head.  Of all the species of annelids, the vast majority are polychaetes, with around 10,000 known species.  Some common names for different types of polychaetes are bristleworms, clam worms, featherduster worms, fire worms, lugworms, palolo worms, Pompeii worms, sea mice,  tubeworms, and many others.  They live underwater in almost every ocean environment, from cold water to undersea volcanic vents, with some burrowing into the sand at the shoreline.”

Photo of author


BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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