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Bob Ford's Video Blog

Coldwater Marine Aquarium
Wednesday October 4th 2017

Something very odd was moving around the gravel in my sea tank this afternoon.

These are the feeding tentacles of a marine worm, most likely a polychaete (bristle worm) in the Cirratulidae family. All of the tentacles are attached to the same animal, a small worm buried in the gravel. As the tentacles contact a microscopic food item, cilia on their surface move the food towards the worm's mouth. This process can be speeded when the worm retracts a tentacle.

While all this was going on in the shed, a huge green insect was walking around the garden.

This is a great green bush-cricket, the largest member of the grasshopper family in the UK. The nasty-looking spike on its rear end is harmless, an ovipositor or egg-laying tube. The bush-cricket uses this to lay its eggs under the surface of the soil.

Very similar but a fraction of the size is this long-winged conehead, photographed a couple of weeks ago at the edge of the Fleet using its ovipositor to lay eggs in a grass stem.