Home > Animals > Invertebrates > Ragworms

Ragworms   (Nereidae)
Category: Invertebrates



This family of polychaete worms contains about 500 mostly marine species. They can be found in all water depths – hiding under rocks, burrowing through mud, and foraging in seaweeds. They are generally omnivores but some species are actively carnivorous. When reproducing, ragworms morph into a new form known as an “epitoke” during which their digestive system may degenerate and all energy is diverted to reproduction – it dies after reproduction. This “epitoke” stage was once thought to be a different species.



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Annelida
Class - Polychaeta
Order - Phyllodocida
Family - Nereidae

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Cephalopods: Masterminds of the Ocean.

Octopi, cuttlefish, and squids - all cephalopods - have been observed engaging in amazing feats of intelligence (perhaps unsurprising, as cuttlefish and octopuses have the highest brain-to-body mass of all invertebrates). Their suction-cup covered arms are dexterous, and octopuses have been observed putting them to use throwing rocks, opening screw-top jars, even picking up and gathering coconut shells to build fortresses for themselves. Squids, for their part, have been observed hunting cooperatively and are able to communicate with one another via color changes, patterns, and flashing to one another - sometimes using different sides of their bodies to broadcast different signals to multiple squids! Just how smart are they? As they are typically elusive and so very different from humans, we aren’t sure yet - but we do know the question is not “Are they are intelligent?” but “How intelligent are they?”

Learn more >>


NAIA - National Animal Interest Alliance Discover Animals is a web-based educational resource offered by the NAIA
To learn more about the NAIA or about other NAIA programs, visit us at www.NAIAOnline.org
if you would like to help, join or support the NAIA or any of its programs please click here >>