Bearded Fireworms

By: Libee Allan

Description and Behavor

  • White, hollow, and venom filled bristles on its sides.
  • When disturbed it flares out its bristles so they are more exposed.
  • Sheds bristles if attacked.
  • Uses parapodia to swim, burrowing, and creating a feeding current.


  • Abundant on reefs.
  • Beneath stones in rocky or seagrass areas.
  • On some muddy bottoms.
  • Found in Western and Mid-Atlantic.


  • Asexual reproduction- by yourself.
  • Sexual reproduction- with another.
  • Occurs 2-5 days after a full moon.
  • Bioluminescence during reproduction.


  • Coral, anemones, and small crustaceans.
  • Eats the tissue of cnidarians.
  • Also eats squids, clam, and shrimp.


  • Feels like it is burning
  • Becomes red and inflamed
  • Can swell up and may become dizzy