Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Bearded Fireworm - Hermodice carunculata

These photos were taken when diving in Paphos, Cyprus, where Bearded Fireworms are extremely common.

Name: Bearded Fireworm  (Hermodice carunculata)
Order: Ariculata
Family: Amphinomidae


When disturbed, the fireworms puff out their poisonous hairs to protect themselves.  The hairs are actually brittle, hollow spines that can pierce skin and become lodged there.  This produces a burning sensation and irritation.


Bearded fireworms are found in the Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean and Atlantic.

Pipefish (Syngnathinae)

Pipefish look a lot like straight-bodied seahorses.  The name is derived from their long thin straight snake-like body.  Like seahorses, pipefish leave the majority of parenting duties to the male who has a specially developed area to carry the eggs which the female deposits. 

Their shape makes them very difficult to spot, especially when swimming amongst sea grass.