The honeycomb worm (Sabellaria alveolata) is a small filter feeding worm that, in common with many similar species, binds a layer of sand or shell fragments about itself for protection. Living close together the worm tubes take on a hexagonal shape, and a large group of worms form a reef that looks a lot like a honeycomb. The ‘reef’ can be upstanding, or grow over a boulder, but is equally often seen as low tussocky structure which may be partially hidden under seaweed, as found off the promontory below St Patrick’c Chapel, Lower Heysham.
Thanks to Toni Roethling for the photograph above, taken on Bispham beach. Toni reports that the reef was a great attraction for starfish and gulls.
Posted in Shore walks