Biodiversity & Conservation

A fanworm - Myxicola infundibulum

Myxicola infundibulum

Image Keith Hiscock - Myxicola infundibulum. Image width ca 8 cm.
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Distribution map

Myxicola infundibulum recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

Why do the maps differ?

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Myxicola infundibulum is not listed under any importance categories.

Taxonomy icon Taxonomy Taxon English term
Phylum Annelida Segmented worms e.g. ragworms, tubeworms & fanworms
Class Polychaeta Bristleworms, e.g. ragworms, scaleworms, paddleworms, fanworms and tubeworms
Authority (Renier, 1804)
Recent synonyms None
Map icon Recorded Distribution in Britain and Ireland Widely distributed, but often locally scarce, around British and Irish coasts.
Habitat information icon Habitat information Found buried in mud or sand sublittorally of depth down to 30 m in conditions of varied wave and tide exposure. Most abundant in wave sheltered habitats and may occur in variable salinity
Text page icon Description A stout, cylindrical worm up to 20 cm long that lives permanently in a thick, transparent, mucilagenous tube that remains almost completely buried in soft sediment. The head, which projects from the tube, is surrounded by a crown of purple and brown tentacles that are interlaced for most of their length, forming a characteristic funnel, with only their tips free. The body is segmented and dark yellow or orange in colour. When disturbed the worm retracts into its tube and can reduce its length by half.
Identifying features
  • A stout, segmented worm, up to 20 cm in length that lives permanently in a tube.
  • The head is two-lobed and surrounded by a wide funnel of tentacles that are joined for nearly all their length, with only their tips free.
  • The body is orange or dark yellow in colour and the tentacles are purple or brown.
  • The thick tube is transparent and mucilaginous, and remains almost completely buried in the sediment.
Additional information icon Additional information Myxicola infundibulum may occasionally be found in conditions of variable salinity such as inlets and harbours.

This review can be cited as follows:

Penny Avant 2006. Myxicola infundibulum. A fanworm. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25/11/2015]. Available from: <>