Curly filament-worms

The curly filament-worms (Family Cirratulidae) are a diverse group of polychaete worms that are reproductively fascinating. Most species, have both male and female worms that reproduce sexually through broadcast (free) spawning as epitokes (see sea-nymphs, p. 144). Brooding in jelly-like egg masses has been observed in some, possibly including the intertidal filament-worm (AN59), although other species of Cirratulus are known to reproduce both sexually and asexually. Both the coralline-encased filament-worm (AN57) and the fringed filament-worm (AN58), however, are masters of asexual reproduction. They are capable of fragmenting their bodies within their tubes and then regenerating the missing anterior or posterior ends. Colonies can contain both males and females or house only unisexual individuals. Life is not always what it appears!

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