Dark-striped Ribbon Worm

Baseodiscus hemprichii

Ribbon Worms (Phylum Nemertea) are normally found underneath rocks on rocky shores, in lower intertidal pools where the bottom is sand or shelly-sand. They are often nocturnal, coming out only when there is no danger that the sun could dry them out. They are long, somewhat flattened and smooth without any bristles, hairs or projections. They are cream in colour with a distinct dark stripe along the length of the body and have two bars across the head. They can grow up to 1 m in length, but may contract radically to much smaller sizes when they are handled or dry out, appearing soft and fragile and can easily fall apart.

Nemerteans occur throughout the world’s oceans, from tropical waters of East Africa to Hawaii. This particular species occurs in tropical Australia, most commonly in Queensland, and elsewhere in the Indo-Malay Archipelago.

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