[Annelida] Odontosyllis is not a fireworm

Geoff Read via annelida%40net.bio.net (by gread from actrix.gen.nz)
Mon Nov 30 02:07:29 EST 2009

Hi Sven,

Odontosyllis enopla is also known as the Bermuda Glow Worm, and there are
Glow Worm Cruises for tourists.


I was thinking I'd invent the term 'nightlight worms' for Odontosyllis
species in general (we have them in New Zealand too, and I have caught
them swarming in abundance on a few occasions), but the marine glowworm
seems a pretty good common name to me.  There is no fire involved, whereas
(reputedly) quite a bit of fire is experienced after careless handling of
a live amphinomid. A similar usage to 'fiery' chili peppers.

Best to minimize use of all common names for groups probably. And
certainly best not to expect sharp logic in usage. There are no marine
bamboo plants for  bamboo worms to eat (tenuously  lookalike), and I don't
know what connection nereidids have with rags. Rag worms = ragged worms,
as against smooth-bodied earthworms? Lugworms? Don't know the etymology.


>>> On 28/11/2009 at 7:15 a.m., Sven Zörner<s.a.z from gmx.de> wrote:
> Hi Geoff,
> you are absolutely right that the term fireworm is confusing, since it
is used in a different way.
> But actually  "Bermuda fireworm" is actually the common name of
> enopla*, which is also commonly used in non taxonomic papers.
> So it might be helpful to always point out that this term is a common name
> and not to be used in a way which leads to using it as english term for
> taxonomic group.

Geoffrey B. Read, Ph.D.
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
gread from actrix.gen.nz

More information about the Annelida mailing list