More on Namalycastis

Linda Ward Ward.Linda at NMNH.SI.EDU
Mon Aug 5 15:11:34 EST 2002

We just got a fax from one of the Virginia bait dealers with information on the 
collecting site and habitat of the Namalycastis.  I've included the info. below. 
One of the big concerns in this area is the presence of the Vibrio bacteria 
with these worms.   We don't need a new version of the bacteria getting into 
the waters here.  There have been 3 recent deaths that are being attributed 
to Vibrio with one confirmed here in D.C. from raw oysters.  (I always knew 
there was a reason not to eat oysters.)  Given the preferred temperature of 
these worms it's not too likely they would survive in the Cheaspeake Bay and 
they'll have a real tough time finding salt water palm trees here, but stranger 
things have managed to survive here.  (Anyone interested in a Chinese 
snakehead fish....)  It can be a problem though when the press takes a 
serious issue like invasive species and tries to make it humorous, or when 
they don't have all of the facts.   


<Ward.Linda at NMNH.SI.EDU>

fax below

Société au Capital 1400 000 Euros - Siret 327 820 577 00036 - APE 512 E 
Siège ; BP 15 - 19 Rue du Colonel Fabien - 14860 RANVILLE 
Tel 0231787996 - Fax 0231728465 - contact at


As per your request, I am Pleased to bring you some further information
concerning our Vietnamese worm :

It is a species of the genus Namalycastis (Polychaeta : Nerididae),

Some people said that it might be Namalycastis Aibiuma, It is also possible 
that this worm is a quite now species which has never been classified 

It lives in the flats of the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam. It feeds mainly on the 
rotten cellulose buried in the mud. It is very tolerant to high difference of 
salinity as it is possible to find it very deep in the delta, very close, to the pure 
fresh water. Its water is the brackish water.  

It lives in rather high level flats where grow the salt water palm trees.  

In Autumn, it spawns. The female is red and the male is green. At this stage 
of their life they become swimmers.  In the past, I operated by myself some 
fertilizations with success but it was just by scientific curiosity..  

This worm can reach sometimes close to 10 feet long (in extension 
position). Once, I got one in my hand which was 3 metre long.  

As this worm lives only in tropical region, it cannot support temperature 
below +20ºC. At +19ºC it starts to die. So, this is a bait that we can deal alive 
with only from June to September. 

We keep it in a plastic box containing fermented paper pulp as the bedding 
Material. My company has patented this conservation method about 10 years 

Thanks -Regards

Michel Lopuszanski, Prédsident

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