Urechis unicinctus

This page was last edited on 3 August 2017, at 22:25.

Urechis unicinctus (simplified Chinese: 海肠; traditional Chinese: 海腸; pinyin: hǎicháng; Japanese: 螠虫 or ユムシ yumushi; Hangul개불; RRgaebul) is a species of marine spoon worm. It is widely referred to as the fat innkeeper worm or the penis fish.

Urechis unicinctus
Echiura in Korea1
Urechis unicinctus at a market in Korea.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Echiura
Family: Urechidae
Genus: Urechis
Species: U. unicinctus
Binomial name
Urechis unicinctus
von Drasche, 1881[1]


U. unicinctus, like other species of Urechis, lives in burrows in sand and mud. It gets the name "fat innkeeper worm" because the tunnels often contain other animals.

Economic use

This spoon worm is commonly eaten raw with salt and sesame oil or chojang in Korea.

In Chinese cuisine the worm is stir-fried with vegetables, or dried and powdered to be used as an umami enhancer. In particular, the worm is considered an important ingredient in Shandong cuisine and is used in numerous recipes.

It is also used for fishing bait.



Gaebul sold at a fish market at Busan, South Korea.

Korean sea worm

Urechis unicinctus served as hoe in a restaurant in South Korea.


  1. ^ van der Land, Jacob; Murina, Galina Vansetti (2012). "Urechis unicinctus (von Drasche, 1881)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-11-12.

Further reading

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