Diopatra aciculata Knox & Cameron, 1971

Bait species; Alien

Large worm >600mm long, >11mm wide. Antennae long, ceratophores with 12 – 20 rings. Modified parapodia first 3-4 segments with pectinate chaetae having 5 –10 teeth. Branchiae start on chaetiger 4 or 5. Filaments arranged in spiral along central axis. After 20 – 40 segments branchiae gradually shorten and whorls reduce until termination shortly after. Dorsal cirri as long, or almost as long, as branchiae. Has an iridescent shine and can be pale brown to blue-green.

Tube dwelling, discreetly mobile; probably omnivorous; Sandy and muddy sediments in marine dominated estuaries or embayments. Inter-tidal and subtidal (confirmed depth: 3m)

Confirmed: Knysna Estuary, Swartkops Estuary
Possibly: Durban, Keurbooms Estuary, Sundays River Estuary, other well-flushed estuaries along SA coast.

Commonly referred to as the moonshine worm or pypiewurm. Collected by hooking out with wire inserted into the tubes.

Cite as: Simon C.A. (2019) Diopatra aciculata – Knox and Cameron, 1971, modified September 2019. (https://thesimonpolychaetelab.com/Diopatra_aciculata/, Accessed on <day/month/year>)