Honolulu, Hawaii, December 25, 2012
A report from SteveL for mikescatchreport.com
Steve was fishing with Ed near Pearl Harbor when Ed hauled a nightmare from a bad science fiction movie out of the channel.

Steve said it was a bristle worm, a label many people apply when discussing a wide variety of Pacific
Polychaete marine worms, but this one looks like it belongs to the Amphinomidae family--fireworms. This is a roving, carnivorous creature loaded with toxic bristles that can inflict a painful sting. The worm can be found in a wide range of habitat, from shallow water to 600 feet deep. They posses a strong set of jaws and they are not particular about what it eats. The list of potential victims includes mollusks, crustaceans, invertebrates and other bristle worms. In some instances they will also capture and eat small fish.

Sea worms of various types can be seen on the reefs around the islands but most of the time aren’t even noticed and, if they are, the yuck-factor kicks in and people detour around them. However In 2004
several hundred worms washed ashore at a popular Honolulu beach and a lifeguard described them as a "nightmarish cross between a centipede and a sea urchin."

For a look at a few of Hawaii’s other marine worms take a look at this February 2007
National Geographic article, “Hawaii’s Unearthly Worms,” by Jennifer S. Holland with an outstanding photo gallery by Darlyne A. Murawski.