Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp - what is in your mouth?


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I was just observing my cleaner shrimp (about 4 hours after the lights went out) and I noticed a long, thin, off-white tubular "thing" hanging out of his mouth. At first, I wasn't sure if it was coming out or going in, but as I watched him over time, I could see the tube going into and through his body cavity. The tube was about 1.5 or so inches long. Anyone seen anything like this before? Any idea what it might be? Worm? Snail parts? Albino fish poop? :)


Thanks for your help!!
does it look like a thin string.... light brown... and look exactly like your hair?
brad wrote: it might be a worm/filter feeder thing... i have tons in my tank that look like little white strings, they make a tube out of sand... its actually pretty cool watching them do it..

Brad, I believe that you have Spaghetti Worms based on your description. They are good and harmless since they eat plankton and marine snow and add an interesting feature your reef tank.
Well, Tony, it was about 100x thicker than my hair....ha ha!!!

It was definitely fascinating to watch, whatever it was. Maybe it was a spaghetti worm like Brad said.......very interesting. This morning, though, he is no where to be seen. He molted about a week ago; can they mold again that fast?
Guess what? Charlie my cleaner shrimp is back tonight!:D And boy is his "belly" filled with that mysterious worm!!!
It's more like a dark blob inside of him; it would be difficult to identify it as a worm at this point. One thing is for sure, he's one stuffed shrimp!! :)