Spaghetti worm

Saxipendium coronatum

ORDER

No order designation

FAMILY Saxipendiidae

TAXONOMY

Saxipendium coronatum Woodwick & Sensenbaugh, 1985, near "Rose Garden" geothermal vent, Galápagos Rift, at a depth of 8130 ft (2478 m).

OTHER COMMON NAMES Italian: Verme tentacolato.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

A long thin yellowish-white hemichordate, this species can reach 6.6-9.8 ft (2-3 m) in length. The proboscis is tapered to a soft point toward its front, and the collar is short.

DISTRIBUTION

Near the Galápagos Islands.

HABITAT

Found near hydrothermal vents in the deep sea, loosely attached to rocks.

BEHAVIOR

Little is known about the behavior of this species, but individuals are typically seen in "tortuous coils, wrapped upon themselves and welded in mucus."

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Little is known about the diet of 5. coronatum.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Fertilization is external; otherwise, little is known about this species' mode of reproduction.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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