Jon Chamberlain - Researcher in Computer Science and Marine Biology

Jon Chamberlain - Researcher in Computer Science and Marine Biology

Picture of a bearded fireworm taken in Malta 2007

Bearded Fireworm

The picture of this Bearded Fireworm (Hermodice carunculata) was taken in Malta 2007.

Look but don't touch

Small, furry and cute but dangerous to divers should they decide to touch it. Its bristles are tiny, venom filled hairs that can pierce skin and inject a poison that causes intense irritation. The best way to remove fireworm bristles is to apply adhesive tape to the wound to remove the spines.

Hungry worms

Fireworms have large appetites, feeding on hard and soft corals, anemones and small crustaceans. Unfortunately for fire coral, which a fireworm can devour 10cm sq of in a day, only the cone snail has a taste for them. Should the balance of life underwater be upset in their favour, fireworms can cause enormous damage to coral reefs.
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