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Monday, February 27, 2012

Heads or tails?

This exquisitely patterned worm was exploring the surface of the tidal flats in Bodega Harbor on 20 February 2012.  I don't know what species it is, but I'm hoping someone out there does.

I think it was about 10 cm long, and only a few millimeters wide, with a striking green and gold color pattern. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

The head was very small and it looks like there were at least two eyes and a few tentacles or appendages held out to the side.

Sometimes the worm would start to go down a hole (was it searching for prey?).

After reviewing the photos, I noticed that the tail end of the worm had a bright shiny gold spot.  I started wondering if this might be a way to lure potential predators to the tail rather than the head of the worm, perhaps allowing the worm to escape?

If anyone knows what species this is, I'd love to hear more about it!

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