They slither, sting and are the scapegoat for fish and coral deaths. Is the bad reputation warranted though?
Agreed, bristleworms are harmless and get a bad rap, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on them and their breeding in check, as this may cause an infestation (!!!!): https://youtu.be/bImTIvX6FDc
WARNING: video may result in nausea, shaking of the head, sweats, goosebumps, nightmares, and/or phobia to bristleworms. Watch this video only after consulting with your Doctor.
I understand the concept of how the fish can get away from bristle worms, but I don’t understand how coral defend themselves against bristle worms? Do the coral sting the bristle worm? How does that work?
I’ve shaken hands too many times with bristle worms. My trick for removing the dozens of barbs from my skin is to quickly reach for a needle nose pliers, pluck out as many of the barbs as possible rinsing the pliers between plucks. Then dry the skin gently with a clean soft cloth. Blow on the skin until virtually dry. Then use this trick: tear off a short piece of duct tape and repeatedly apply and remove the tape over the affected area. The tape will pull the remaining dispersed barbs out. I’ve found that the faster all this is completed, the less time the numbing effects last.
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