Meet the Bobbit Worm (Eunice aphroditois)- Some pictures and fun facts!

Post image ‘Bobbit-Worm’ by Hendra Tan

Their name comes from the John and Lorena Bobbit Case

They live tropical and subtropic bodies of water in the Indo-Pacific. They’ve been discovered in Bali, New Guinea, the Philippines, Australia, Fiji, and Indonesia!

They can reproduce asexually via segmentation!

They can live between 3-5 years and grow on average 3 feet long, although one was discovered at 10 feet long!

Photo by Ken Traub

The fossil record shows they’ve been around for 20 million years!

They like to build mucus lined burrows on the sea floor from where they ambush their prey!

Photo by eunice khoo

Despite having a pair of small eyes they use their antennae to detect prey as they are virtually blind!

Peters’ Monocle Bream tropical fish have been observed ‘mobbing’ Bobbit Worms by directing sharp jets of water at them in order to deter their attacks!

Bobbit Worms can decimate aquariums. They can arrive as small worms hidden in rocks and corals and can remain undetected for quite some time. Don Arndts heroic battle against a Bobbit Worm is the stuff of legends. His foe was a wily adversary despite the many attempts to poison and kill it, including glue and crushed glass hidden in baited shrimp! TLDR version here

Their jaws are wider than their bodies are retractable and open like scissors!

Their bodies are covered in tiny bristles which grip, and help it to explode out of it’s burrow while hunting!

Now give the little fella a kiss!

(photo by Pauline Walsh Jacobsen)

edit- most info from here and I forgot to credit the last image


Welp I just looked up how they got their name…

Cool post though, bobbit worms seem like pretty nice guys.


I agree, I think they are tenacious and fascinating creatures!


Awesome post! I read that about that aquarium battle like 10 years ago when I first learned about the Bobbit Worm. I remember being simultaneously amused and horrified by his story and by the creature itself.

Do you know if these worms will attack human swimmers near their burrows? Or do they only come out for appropriately sized prey?


According to the info I looked st they won’t attack people, just fish that get too close (unless they are a gang of Peter’s Monicle Bream feeling fiesty)

One thing that’s really surprised me is how ‘pretty’ they are (the only ones I’d seen online were dead in formaldehyde). They have some very nice iridescence patterning, which could be to do with the mucus, as well as the stripes

I think their name is very unfortunate (and probably not deserved in my opinion)


They don’t cut and reattach penises (penii?) and go on to have a porn career?


Nope, Bobbit Worm is far too classy for that!


Great write up and that story about one in a fish tank was a fun read!


It’s a rollercoaster ride, I’m surprised by the amount of abuse it took…one tough beastie!

NataliePortland, avatar

It’s awful! Thanks for sharing. This is a great post you made


Thank you and you’re welcome!

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