Gulf Of Maine

Sea Life & Aquarium Substrates

Sea life from the Northern Atlantic Ocean. 50 degree F salt water species. Gulf of Maine Inc. supplies sea life, beach plants, and aquarium substrates from Maine, collected by hand.

Aquarium substrates


Bony fishes



Cartilaginous fishes



Gulf of Maine assortments




Saltwater plants




Sandworm (Nereis virens)

Sandworm (Nereis virens)

from 10.00

Common name: sandworm, clamworm

Scientific name:  Nereis virens

Locations: sandy mud at mid to low water

Seasonality:  available all year

Colors:  metallic orange, green, brown

Size:  4”  - 16”

Collected:  by hand, digging fork, or picked at night with headlamps

Quantity:  sold by the each

per pack:
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Sandworms wriggling in a bundle.

Sandworms wriggling in a bundle.

Tidepool Tim says,  "Sandworms are probably the most commonly studied marine worm of all time!  They are big, frisky, and easy to keep in the lab or aquarium.  Males are commonly green and brown in color while the larger females are orange green metallic colors.  With their large parapodia and serpentine motion, they are quite mesmerizing to watch move along the sand or swim through the water column.  These worms are annelids and made up of many segments bearing bristles called setae.  They use these setae to swim.

Sandworms in Maine and New England are harvested for fishing bait in mid-Atlantic markets.  Diggers can get as many as 2000 worms in one full tide of harvesting and make a great days pay for this work.  Many folks are scared of sandworms as they are known to bite - the worms have no real teeth - just 2 thick, black hooklike fangs that can pinch a person's hand quite hard.  This rarely happens - I have handled many thousands and never been bitten. 

In May, as the tidal flats start to warm up under the springtime sun the sandworms start to spawn.  We know this is happening when we see thousands of gulls swarming and swooping into the shallow water & mud.  Large female worms will be swarmed with many dozens of the greenish males as they lash around her.  As this ball of worms is thrashing around - the males are emitting a white sperm fluid that leaks from the end of their bodies.  Spent male worms are often seen dying on the mudflats, lying in a pool of this spermy fluid.  By this time all the birds have eaten their fill and these spent males become green crab food as the incoming tide floods the flats.   It's really quite a natural event to witness!”