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Catworm

size:

up to 15 centimeters

color:

yellow-brown

food:

young shellfish, crustaceans, worms, organic waste, algae

enemies:

shorebirds, fish

reproduction:

sexual

  • Dut: Zandzager
  • Lat: Nephtys hombergii
  • Eng: Catworm, white worm, white cat
  • Ger: Opalwurm
  • Dan: Nephthyider
Nephtys hombergii, Wim de Bruin

Catworm

Catworms are very rapid predator worms. They hunt young shellfish and other worms, but also eat organic waste and algae. Catworms are very active. They can quickly stick a kind of tongue in and out. They use it to dig themselves rapidly into the bottom. Catworms are very sensitive to severe winters. After such a winter, they can disappear for years. This worm is also sensitive to pollution from oil or drilling muds containing oil.

  • Distribution and habitat

    The catworm is found in sandy tidal banks and sea bottoms in the Wadden Sea, delta waters, along the North Sea coast and on the southern edge of Doggersbank.