These thrive on the predominantly rocky terrain around these shores and many examples can be seen on every dive and they are often mistaken for Nudibranchs. Sometimes quite mobile, look out for the small brown species with white irregular spots and two tentacles at the head which they quickly retract if they feel threatened.

BRISTLE WORMS (family: Annelid)

Bristle worms are a very successful species which has been scavenging the bottom of the shallowest seas and deepest oceans of the world for millions of years. Usually to be found hiding under rocks and in crevices during the day they venture out at night in search of carrion. During the mating season, which is during mid summer in Turkey, certain species can be seen during the day standing vertically on rocks either singly or in large writhing groups. They can grow to 15cm in length and they resemble furry caterpillars, the fine poisonous hairs along the body flaring white if disturbed. While they are not dangerous to divers, contact with the skin can result in irritation which can be quite painful and last for several hours.

PEACOCK WORM (Sabella pavonina)

This species of worm belongs to the family Sabellidae, which are tube dwelling polychaetes. This species common in Turkish waters, has flower like gills consisting of between 8 to 45 filaments which fan out at the top of the membranous tube. If disturbed the gills retract quickly into the tube.