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Cellophane worms wash onto Seaside beaches

Seaside Signal

Published on March 5, 2018 2:01PM

Last changed on March 14, 2018 9:47AM

Area beaches are filled with cellophane worm casings.

Seaside Aquarium

Area beaches are filled with cellophane worm casings.

Casings produced by the cellophane worm wash ashore in masses along the Oregon Coast.

Seaside Aquarium

Casings produced by the cellophane worm wash ashore in masses along the Oregon Coast.

Tube worm casings along the beach.

Seaside Aquarium

Tube worm casings along the beach.


What looks like litter, has a clear shell and washes up on Oregon beaches?

The answer, according to the Seaside Aquarium, are tube worm casings, produced by the cellophane worm, spichaetopterus costarum.

Millions of the worm casings have been washing onto coastal beaches, staff reported this week.

While the casings may look like “litter,” a post on the Cannon Beach officials said the species produces a secretion that becomes their protective outer “shell.” They live in the sand just below the low tide line. Heavy surf will dislodge the animals and wash the tubes to the surface.





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