Worm (Green Leaf)
The Green Leaf Worm is a bright green or a yellow-green segmented worm that can be found all around the English coast. It is quite an active worm that can be seen moving around on rocks at low tide, especially on dull cloudy days. It can also be seen in rock crevices, beds of barnacles and mussels and also amongst kelp. Kelp is a very large type of brown seaweed.
The Green Leaf Worm can grow five to fifteen centimetres in length and has a body which is divided into around two hundred segments. It is also called the ‘paddle worm’ because it has lots of stiff paddle-like bristles that project and run along the sides of its body. It uses these bristles to move along surfaces and to breathe through. The Green Leaf Worm has a ‘proboscis’ which is a long thread-like tubular organ that shoots out of the worm’s mouth when it wants to feed.
The egg mass of the Green Leaf Worm looks like little pouches of bright green slime which is often attached to seaweed and small stones during the summer months. The newly hatched larvae become part of zooplankton for a short while before they settle on the seabed to develop into adult Green Leaf Worms.