Club-Spined Scale Worm

Guardian: Sophia Hjortkjaer

Gastrolepidia clavigera

These worms hitch a ride on sea cucumbers, they use hooks to hold on and secrete a slime that keeps them connected as they travel over the sea cucumber’s body. They are carnivorous, feeding on unsuspecting creatures that land on the sea cucumber or on the tiny animals that are disturbed as the sea cucumber shovels sand into its mouth. They are also fascinating to watch swim or to imagine them as a creature in a Science Fiction film on an Alien Planet where sea cucumbers are the size of dinosaurs and grains of sand are the size of boulders.