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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Terebellida
Family: Acrocirridae
Genus: Teuthidodrilus
Osborn, Madin & Rouse, 2011
T. samae
Binomial name
Teuthidodrilus samae
Osborn, Madin & Rouse, 2011

Teuthidodrilus samae, also known as the squidworm, belongs to the phylum Annelida (ringed worms) and in the detritivorous worm family Acrocirridae.


A new species of demersal zone (water area nearest to the sea bed) worms, the squidworm was observed and collected in the Celebes Sea between Indonesia and the Philippines, off the coast named Tawi-Tawi, during a deep-water expedition in 2007. This area is part of the Coral Triangle, a location known for its increased biodiversity. The squid worm was found at an astonishing depth of 2,800 meters. It is an unusual new genus and species of swimming Polychaete from the deep bentho-pelagic zone (deep-open ocean water layer). This discovery was achieved via a remotely-operated vehicle managed by researchers with the Census of Marine Zooplankton. In total, 6 specimens were collected. The name arises from the fact that this worm has 10 tentacle-like appendages on its head, resembling a squid. The numerous T. samae observations collected within just a few dives and all within 100 m of the seafloor suggest that this animal is a common member of the deep bentho-pelagic community of the Celebes Sea basin

Physical characteristics[edit]

Collected specimens were found to be 9–10 cm in length and 1 cm in width. While living, they are a light brown color while their segmented body is relatively transparent. After preservation these specimens become light black in color. Their outer body consists of a thin gelatinous sheath with 10 anterior appendages that are approximately the size of its body. Two of these tentacles are used for food collection while the other eight are part of its respiratory and sensory system. Moreover, it possesses two feather-like structures on its head, called nuchal organs which analyze chemical signals in the sea.

Their organs are organized in a horseshoe-shaped appearance from the head to the back. Its mouth is located in the anterior front part of its body and it has no barrier protecting its pharynx. The squidworm has four pairs of branchiae (gills) positioned in two rows behind its nuchal organs.

Their internal anatomy, which is relatively visible from the outside since their outer body is semi-transparent, contains a heart, gut which forms loops, circulatory system with large efferent and afferent vessels leading to its gills. It also has give pairs of nephridia, which are organs similar to the kidney responsible for osmoregulation and expression. The female reproductive system consists of many spherical clusters of differently sized ova.

Behavioral characteristics[edit]

Not much is known of this creature’s behavior other that it has the ability to swim with proficiency using two of its thin, paddle-like tentacles as well as its bristles that run across both faces of its body. It is categorized as a suspension eater since it consumes marine snow, which consists of pieces from animals, plants, feces and other organic materials that precipitate from the higher parts of the ocean towards the abyss.

External links[edit]