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Key People:Charles Darwin...(Show more)Related Topics:oligochaeteLumbricusOriental earthwormnight crawler...(Show more)

earthworm, likewise called angleworm, any kind of one of more than 1,800 species of terrestrial worms of the course Oligochaeta (phylum Annelida)—in particular, members the the genus Lumbricus. Seventeen native varieties and 13 introduced varieties (from Europe) happen in the eastern unified States, L. Terrestris being the many common. Earthworms take place in basically all soils the the human being in which the moisture and also organic contents are adequate to sustain them. Among the most comprehensive studies the earthworm tasks was performed by English naturalist Charles Darwin.

Members of one Australian species can thrive as long as 3.3 metres (about 11 feet). L. Terrestris grows to around 25 centimetres (10 inches). This varieties is reddish brown, but some earthworms (e.g., Allolobophora chlorotica, native to great Britain) are green. The reddish tint of L. Terrestris outcomes from the existence of the colors hemoglobin in the blood.



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annelid
…sedentary, or tube-dwelling, forms; the earthworms (Oligochaeta); and the leeches (Hirudinea).

The earthworm human body is split into ringlike segment (as countless as 150 in L. Terrestris). Some inner organs, consisting of the excretory organs, are copied in every segment. In between segments 32 and also 37 is the clitellum, a slightly bulged, discoloured organ that produce a cocoon for enclosing the earthworm’s eggs. The human body is tapered at both ends, v the tail end the blunter that the two. Earthworms cannot watch or hear, however they room sensitive come both light and also vibrations.

Their food consists of decaying plants and also other organisms; as they eat, however, earthworms additionally ingest big amounts that soil, sand, and tiny pebbles. It has been estimated that one earthworm ingests and also discards its very own weight in food and soil every day.


Earthworms are hermaphroditic; i.e., functional reproductive guts of both sexes happen in the exact same individual. The egg of one individual, however, are fertilized by the sperm of another individual. During mating two earthworms room bound together by a difficult mucus while each transfers sperm to the other. The worms separate and form cocoons; the cocoon move forward, picking up eggs at the 14th segment; at the 9th and 10th segment it choose up the sperm deposit by the other earthworm. The cocoon slides end the head, and also fertilization take away place. In ~ 24 hours after the worms mate, the cocoon is deposit in the soil.

Miniature earthworms usually arise from the cocoon after 2 to 4 weeks. They become sexually tires in 60 come 90 days and attain full development in around one year.

Earthworms commonly remain near the floor surface, however they are recognized to tunnel together deep as 2 m during periods that dryness or in winter. One Asian species is well-known to climb trees come escape drowned after hefty rainfall.

Earthworms carry out food for a huge variety that birds and other animals. Indirect they provide food for human beings by assisting plant growth. Earthworms aerate the soil, promote drainage, and draw necessary material into their burrow. This last service increases the decomposition of essential matter and also produces more nutritive materials for cultivation plants. Earthworms additionally serve as fish bait; hence, the surname angleworm.

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This short article was many recently revised and updated through Amy Tikkanen, corrections Manager.