This species is attracted by the smell of its host (if the host is uninjured), but can learn to live with a new species. Its body color is usually close to that of its host. It eats detritus. Adults are territorial and will try to drive other individuals off their host. They may injure or kill one another in fights over a host.
Members of Family Polynoidae, unlike most other errant polychaetes, have parapodia specialized for walking rather than as paddles. Their longitudinal muscles, which caused lateral undulations in other polychaetes, are poorly developed and they don't undulate much. As a result, although they can walk efficiently they are poor swimmers.