[Coral-List] Re: help identifiying an organism

Darrin Drumm darrin.drumm at stonebow.otago.ac.nz
Thu Aug 4 03:38:43 EDT 2005

Hi Roi

The "worm" you photographed looks to me like the Cuverian tubules of a
holothurian (sea cucumber).  These organs are ejected as a defense
mechanism by some species and are very sticky to the touch.  That would
explain why they were also found in the same location the next night. 


Darrin Drumm
Department of Marine Science
Univeristy of Otago
Dunedin 9001
New Zealand

During a recent night dive in the coral reef of Eilat, Israel, we have 
seen a large "worm" that I have never seen before and have failed, so 
far, to identify. it was quite long (I estimate ~1m), with a diameter of 
~ 5mm. as far as I could tell, the full length of the organism was 
exposed, i.e. it was not a part of something hiding under a rock. I 
would appreciate if you could take a moment to look at the pictures at: 
the coral in the pictures is about 7cm across. the organism was very 
sticky, and when we touched it with a piece of plastic, it was hardly 
possible to separate it. It was observed in a degrading state (probably 
dead) the next night at the same place (it was then collected and 
thanks in advance
Roi Holzman
roi at pob.huji.ac.il
InterUniversity institute for marine science of Eilat
PO box 469, Eilat,88103, Israel
Phone: 972-8-6360129
fax: 972-8-6374329

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