Northern Feather Duster Worm    Eudistylia vancouveri



The Feather Duster Worm is a member of one of the largest groups of marine worms called the Polychaetes.  The Feather Duster Worm will partly emerge to feed on small planktonic plants and animals using a large (up to 2 inches) plume shaped feeding devise that reminded early marine biologists of a feather duster. Detecting motion using small but sensitive eye spots, the Feather Duster Worm will instantly pull its plume back into its tube at the slightest hint of danger, however the withdrawn tentacles lack a trap door to seal the tube. The flexible, leathery, parchment-like tubes are attached to hard surfaces and can extend for a foot or more.  The tubes often intertwine forming a refuge for other marine animals. .


Besides rocky intertidal and sub-tidal areas, the Feather Duster Worm can be found on marine docks and pilings. Clumps are easily seen on the floats of the Boston Harbor Marina.


This species ranges from Alaska to central California.


See video of Northern Feather duster worm