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Innkeeper Worm Facts

TAXONOMY

Urechis caupo Fisher and MacGinitie, 1928, Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay, California, United States.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Fat innkeeper worm.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Sausage-shaped trunk, and proboscis brief and scoop-like. Pink physique reaches size of 19.6 in (50 cm) and the cuticle of trunk is rugose. One pair of ventral anterior chaetae and one circle of stronger chaetae across the anus.

DISTRIBUTION

Pacific Ocean, west coast of United States (California).

HABITAT

Lives in U-shaped burrow in sand or sandy mud in intertidal or subtidal areas. Can be present in estuarine areas. Known as innkeeper worm as a result of its burrow is occupied by a number of commensals.

BEHAVIOR

Able to assemble its personal tube. The proboscis begins a gap within the substratum and excavation course of is sustained till the burrow turns into a U-shaped tunnel with two exits. Both anterior ventral and posterior anal chetae are used throughout building and upkeep of the tube. Can transfer over a clean floor and spend the day acquiring food, cleansing the burrow, resting, and making respiratory actions with their tube. Can swim.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Produces a funnel-shaped mucous internet, with its distal finish connected to the interior wall of the burrow. By peristaltic actions, the trunk pumps seawater via the burrow and particles, and organisms bigger than 0.00004 (1 µm) are trapped in internet, which is indifferent from the physique when loaded with food; animal eats internet with food.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Spawning happens in early summer time. All people spawn on the identical time, guaranteeing fertilization, which happens externally; sperm and eggs are liberated within the seawater the place the fertilization happens. A free-swimming and feeding trochophore larva develops after fertilization.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Specimens are generally used as laboratory animals and can also be used as bait.