Devil Worm – Lygdamis wirtzi

The Devil Worm, also known as Slime Feather Duster, is a species in the class of the Polychaete. Lygdamis wirtzi was first described by Nishi & Nunez in 1999.

Devil worm Lygdamis wirtzi polychaete bristle worm diving canary islands species atlantic ocean canaries
Devil Worm – Lygdamis wirtzi


The body of the Devil Worm has a head, a cylindrical, segmented body and a tail piece. However, one usually sees no more than the head and the inhabited tube.

The head, however, is very distinctive. It has two symmetrical stems, which are occupied with fine tentacles. The colour is dark brown to black and white. In addition, the visible part is maximally 4cm tall, the animal as a whole reaches up to 10cm.

Habitat and Distribution

Lygdamis wirtzi lives in sandy or rocky soils, from the shore zone to at least 35m depth.

When diving in the Canaries you can see them more often, but you need a good eye because of its size.

In addition, its distribution area extends across the Caribbean, the Pacific side of Mexico, Madeira, the Indo-Pacific, Portugal and Spain.


There is not much known about the life of the Devil Worm. It is known that it feeds on plankton by filtration.

In case of danger, it quickly returns into its tube. Thus it is protected against predators. According to they are nocturnal. But I have also been able to observe them during the day.


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