'Violent attacks' attributed to worm named Barry

95dd01a7-cb87-494d-989b-c5cedc09c0b4

Editor's Picks
Features Post
Brighten up your pond
09 August 2022
Features Post
Nature wins
18 July 2022
Features Post
Making sense of the molly muddle
18 July 2022
Features Post
Myanmar’s fragile jewel
18 July 2022
'Violent attacks' attributed to worm named Barry

Staff at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay had been experiencing a series of violent attacks on the corals in one of their display tanks for the last few months.

After unsuccessfully staking out the tanks for several weeks to find the culprit, they resorted to the last resort of dismantling the tank; midway through the process, the perpetrator was revealed as a four-foot long polychaete worm.

The worm was eventually lured out with fish scraps, biting through a 20-lb fishing line in the process.

According to curator Matt Slater, Something was guzzling our reef but we had no idea what, we also found an injured Tang Fish so we laid traps but they got ripped apart in the night.

That worm must have obliterated the traps. The bait was full of hooks which he must have just digested.

It really does look like something out of a horror movie. It's over four feet long with these bizarre-looking jaws. We also discovered that he is covered with thousands of bristles which are capable of inflicting a sting resulting in permanent numbness.

The worm, nicknamed Barry by the staff, has been moved to its own tank.