Image: Planktonic Polychaete worm
Planktonic Polychaete worm
- Peter Parks
- © Image Quest 3-D
Polychaete worms are a group of mostly marine, segmented worms which are related to earthworms and leeches. They are also called bristle worms because of the array of bristles on their many leg-like appendages. Most polychaetes have a planktonic larva which settle on the reef or ocean floor once they have matured but a few species, like the one pictured here, spend their entire lives as part of the plankton.