First report of the fireworm Hermodice carunculata (Annelida: Amphinomidae) preying on a Sea Cucumber

Romulo Barroso, Daniel Filgueiras, Mariana Contins, Jerry Kudenov


The annelid ‘fireworm’ Hermodice carunculata is widely recorded in clear shallow waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas, where it inhabits hard substrata. It is an omnivore and opportunistic scavenger, feeding strategies considered central to the maintenance of its broad geographic distribution. Hermodice carunculata also preys on various cnidarians, and starfish. This study represents the first report of active predation by H. carunculata on living specimen of the holothurian Isostichopus badionotus, from the southwestern Atlantic, Brazilian coast. The fact that parts of living holothurians were consumed, excluded the possibility of scavenging behavior. Such predatory behavior is described here for the first time, corroborates that H. carunculata feeds on Echinoderms other than starfish. However, we cannot presently answer the question whether H. carunculata actively preys on healthy holothurians or opportunistically feeds on injured sea cucumbers.


Amphinomidae, Hermodice, Isostichopus, predation.

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