The Medusa Worm; Friend or Foe?

With their pinnate feeding tentacles and high activity levels, these legless sea cucumbers make for an attractive addition to reef aquariums. Unlike the other echinoderms in which the mouth is on the "bottom side" of the animal, the sea cucumbers lie on their side, and either stick their tentacles into the water column to suspension feed, or apply their tentacles directly to the substrate to deposit feed.

These sea cucumbers get their common name because they resemble a giant worm from which a "mop" of feeding tentacles are constantly being slapped across the substrate before being drawn into the mouth. But some hobbyist are skeptical to add these interesting creatures to their reef due to their ability to exceed 2 feet in length. What is your experience with Medusa Worms, and would you trust one in your reef aquarium?


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