Physical Description

The Windmill Worm, scientifically known as Praxillura maculata, features a distinct cylindrical body encased within a stiff, non-calcified tube. Its most notable feature is the arrangement of radiating arms around the aperture, resembling the blades of a windmill. Typically, the erect portion of the worm stands at a height of 4-5 centimeters.


These fascinating creatures are relatively uncommon along the eastern Pacific coast, particularly in sandy areas surrounding rocky outcrops. They prefer habitats where they can anchor themselves securely and extend their feeding structures to capture suspended particulate matter.

Geographical Range

Windmill Worms are primarily found in the central to southern regions of California’s coastline. While they were once reported only from the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara, recent observations suggest a possible range extension towards southern California.

What They Eat

The Windmill Worm employs a unique feeding strategy, secreting mucus strings around its radiating arms to capture particulate material from the surrounding water. This diet primarily consists of organic particles and other microscopic organisms present in the marine environment.