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Earthworms are Quite Happy Underwater

We received a question from a reader who would like to know how much time a worm can spend underwater before drowning. The short answer is that, so long as the water has a high enough concentration of oxygen, most worms can live quite happily under water. When the soil that an earthworm is living in becomes very wet, it may choose to come to the surface to move around. It’s a lot easier to move on the surface of the ground than it is to slog through mud.The term “worm” is rather vague, but we will assume that she is referring to the common earthworm. One of the many benefits to being an earthworm is that earthworms cannot drown (because they have no lungs). Instead of breathing, earthworms actually absorb oxygen through their skin via diffusion.  So, if the earthworm’s skin is Continue reading [...]
earthworm in dirt

Skinny Worm on Rosemany Plant

A reader found a "brown, skinny, and long" organism on her indoor rosemary plant. Without knowing the species our reader found, we cannot define it as harmless or not harmless. Continue reading [...]
Worm in the Shower

Canadian Worms Can Take A Shower Too

One of our Canadian readers' two-year-old son and her husband had just finished up a shower when they found this worm in the tub. They'd had a shallow bath at one point, after which her husband had taken the shower head down and thoroughly sprayed down the tub, walls, etc. and there was nothing in the tub at that point. After they were done and ready to get out, this was crawling in the bottom of the tub at the opposite end from the drain. From what we're provided, it appears to be an annelid, perhaps a bloodworm but likely an earthworm that rode in on one of the bathers or perhaps found its way into the tub when Dad pulled the shower head out of the wall mount to spray the surround clean.No object or measurement has been included to determine scale but we will estimate this creature Continue reading [...]

Earthworm Found in Bathtub

One of our readers found an earthworm in her bathtub. We don't think it is necessary for her to take her children to the doctor to be tested for parasites since earthworms aren't harmful to humans or pets. Continue reading [...]

Creature Found During Monsoon Could be an Oligochaeta

One of our readers was burned or stung by a segmented worm during a monsoon. We believe it is an Oligochaete. Continue reading [...]
Woolly Worms or Wooly Bear six red segments

Woolly Worms and Winter: Foreteller or Folklore?

Summary: Do the stripes of woolly worms stripes predict the length or severity of winter?It’s a long standing folk tradition that woolly worms, or woolly bears, the caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) can predict whether the coming winter will be harsh or mild.According to the tradition, the longer the woolly bear's black bands, the longer and more severe the winter will be, and the wider the middle brown band is indicates a milder upcoming winter. If the head end of the caterpillar is dark, the beginning of winter will be longer, darker, and harder. If the tail end is dark, the end of winter will be more severe. Alternate traditions state that if a woolly worm’s coat is thick, it will be a cold winter, or that if a that woolly bear caterpillar crawls in Continue reading [...]