E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Axiothella rubrocincta (Johnson, 1901)
Red-Banded Bamboo Worm
Family: Maldanidae

Photo of species

© Les Leighton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13264)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Axiothella rubrocincta in British Columbia
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Red-banded Bamboo worms, Axiothella rubrocincta, so named because of the resemblance of their segments to those of a bamboo plant, are relatively large deposit-feeding worms that inhabit U-shaped burrows on sand/mud flats. The back end of the burrow is easily visible because of the mound of coiled feces on the sand surface, but the front end is usually just a shallow, funnel-shaped depression. The depression is caused by the worm sucking up foods such as detritus, protists, and small invertebrates with its muscular proboscis from the surface of the funnel. Perhaps because of its relatively large size, Axiothella is a bit of a bully to other infaunal worms on the sand flat. Research shows that in mixed assemblages, Axiothella dominates other worms by out-muscle-ing them for food, either by butting them aside or biting at them with its powerful proboscis. Also, by having to stretch out further from their burrows to get food, these smaller worms tend to lose their heads more often to fish predators, thus becomiing generally less fit with respect to growth and reproduction. For more information on tube-dwelling life in these polychaetes, see A SNAIL'S ODYSSEY: LEARN ABOUT LUGWORMS & RELATIVES

Note Author: Tom Carefoot, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-06-21 8:10:59 PM]
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