Sabellastarte spectabilis (Indian feather duster worm)


Large feather duster worm with horseshoe-shaped crown. The crown is brown with light brown to yellow and white markings. When the crown is extended, the tube is not visible. The tube is thin, finely built, with a creamy color, embedded in soft substrate. When disturbed the crown will be retracted within the tube quickly and it may take some time before it comes out again.


Unassessed by the IUCN Red list, but considered a fairly common species.


Known from the Indian Ocean and Pacific, but there also sightings in the Red Sea. They can be found on soft substrates on tropical reefs, in a depth range of 10-100 meters.


Sexual reproduction by spawning. Gametes are released through the metanephridia or body wall rupturing.


The diamater of the crown can measure up to 10cm.

Prey / Predation

Suspension feeding. when food particles get stuck in the crown, it retracts.

Special features

Identification is sometimes tentative, as there appear many color variations and there is not a lot of information available on feather duster worms yet. This species was previously referred to as Sabellastarte indica.