Wildlife | Balloon Worms

Introduction to Balloon Worms

Balloon worms derive their name from their long segmented bodies and the addition of a special crop organ that can inflate with water to aid in bouncy or act as a defense against predation. These worms often contain many parapodium that move in an undulating manner to propel itself forward and backward, or upward and downward in the water column. Additionally several species possess an enlarged pair of parapodium that assist the animal in swimming while in an inflated state.


Tibiapatina flumen

Common Name: Floating glow-worm
Habitat: Abyssal zone
Size: 1m (~3ft)

Description: T. flumen reside in the deep abysses of the Kragus Ocean. The auxillary crop is often maintained at the same preassure as the water surrounding the specimens body; fluctuation in pressure occur only when the specimen wishes to travel upward or downward in the water column. Interestingly, T. flumen possess bioluminescence which may be used as a form of intraspecies communication.

Pallonestear angelus

Common Name: Angelic balloon worm
Habitat: Bathyal zone
Size: 0.4m (~1.3ft)

Description: P. angelus is commonly found in warmer waters of the Atanna near the ocean floor. When threatened, P. angelus quickly ingests water and inflates its auxiliary crop. The abrupt transition to a larger size is often enough to startle a potential threat, however if a predator is persistent the round inflated exterior of the auxiliary crop complicates swallowing.