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Christmas Tree Worm  - Spirobranchus giganteus
Photo by Paige Gill

Christmas tree worms grow to 1-1.5 inches and can live anywhere between 10 and 100 feet deep. Typically, all you see of the worm is two spiral crowns. The crowns can be a variety of colors, but typically are orange, brown, maroon, or white. Their bodies are typically encrusted in living coral, with just their crowns extended. Their name comes from the spiral shape of their colorful crowns.

Christmas Tree Worm
(Spirobranchus giganteus)

Distribution
Bahamas, Caribbean, and Florida

Habitat
Reefs

Diet
Phytoplankton

Status

The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
Christmas tree worms are shy and will retract their crowns if disturbed. Waiting motionless, divers can see the crowns re-appear.

Learn More
- National Marine Sanctuary Program
- Ocean Futures Society