Bearded Fire Worm
Hermodice carunculata

f22 @ 1/60s, ASA 25, Kodachrome 25 film, Nikonos II w 28mm and 1:2 extension tube, Oceanic flash w aluminum flash reflector

"Bearded Fire Worm," Reef Creature Identification, Paul Humann & Ned Deloach. Large, pleated and branched (beard-like) appendage of flesh on head, called a caruncle, distinguishes this species. Segments have short tufts of white bristles and stalks of red, branched gill filaments.Common, Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean. When disturbed displays bristles which can easily penetrate and break off in skin, causing a painful burning sensation and irritating wound.
Frederiksted Pier, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands