Fireworm, any of certain segmented marine worms of the class Polychaeta (phylum Annelida), including species of the genera Hermodice and Eurythoe. Fireworms produce a stinging sensation if touched. The body of H. carunculata, found in the coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, is covered with fine, white, brittle bristles that break if touched; they easily become imbedded in human skin and produce a substance that is highly irritating.
Chloeia is a fairly conspicuous polychaete worm in the family Amphinomidae which apparently occurs widely throughout the Indo-Pacific. About 27 species..and honestly I’m not sure if everything that is labelledC. flava in the videos and pics IS correctly identified but here’s a round up of videos and pics while I am distracted by a job interview!
read about eh bearded fireworm too:
Bearded fireworms, Hermodice carunculata (Pallas, 1766), are a type of bristleworm of the fireworm Family Amphinomidae. These beautiful flattened segmented worms, reaching 35.6 cm (typically 7-10 cm) in length, with groups of white bristles along each side. The bristles are hollow, venom-filled chaeta which easily penetrate flesh and then break off if this worm is handled. They produce an intense burning irritation in the area of contact, hence the common name of the species. When disturbed, the worm flares out the bristles so they are more exposed.
Class Polychaeta, the bristleworms, is the largest and most primitive group of annelids, and the majority are marine. They are often strikingly beautiful and very colorful and, unlike the other two groups of annelids (Classes Clitellata andPogonophora), they show enormous variation in form and lifestyle. Apart from the head and terminal segments, all the segments are identical, each with a pair of flattened, fleshy lobelike paddles called parapodia, which are used for swimming, burrowing and creating a feeding current. The bristles, or chaetae, on the parapodia are immensely variable between species. In the sea mice, for example, they form a protective mat over the back of the worm and give the animal a furry appearance. The bristles of fireworms, on the other hand, are long and poisonous for defense, and are shed readily if a worm is attacked.
Bearded fireworms are abundant on reefs, beneath stones in rocky or seagrass areas and on some muddy bottoms. They have also been found at or near the surface in flotsam and occurs to at least 60 m. They are found throughout the tropical western Atlantic and at Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic.
Fireworms are voracious predators that feed on soft and hard corals, anemones, and small crustaceans. They engulf the last few centimeters of the tip of a branching coral, such as Acropora cervicornis (staghorn coral), in its inflated pharynx and remove the coral tissue right from the skeleton. They typically spend 5-10 minutes at each branch tip, visiting several, and the “skinned” branches are apparent by their white ends.
photo source for fireworm
photo source for bearded fireworm