“What kind of worm did I find on my bathroom floor?” asks this reader about the black worm with the gray-pink underside in the photo below. She says that she is “super freaked out”, so we will do our best to put our reader’s mind at ease.
Our reader did not provide more context than this, so we will just have to work with what we have. Based solely on the appearance of the worm, there are a number of identities we considered, including a flatworm, earthworm, and brahminy blind snake. The trouble is that we have not reached any one conclusion, as the poor resolution of the photo makes it difficult to discern exactly what this is. As we stated previously, what seems to be a lighter-colored underside indicates that this worm has two sides. This is what had us thinking that this might be a flatworm, which is, as its name suggests, not cylindrical like the earthworm or the brahminy blind snake. Flatworms come in many shapes in sizes, and can be terrestrial, aquatic and even parasitic (the tapeworm, for example). Some species of flatworms are predatory and are able to secrete fluids which can cause reactions if one makes skin-to-skin contact with them. As such, we recommend that our reader wears some type of protection if and when handling the worm to protect herself from this possibility.
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Following this, it is likely that this is an earthworm. Of course, this would suggest that the pink coloration is not its underside, as earthworms are round. In that case, we think this may just be how the light is reflecting off the worm, and that, in reality, it is the deep purple color of earthworms. This would explain why it looks both black and pink. Likewise, it would make sense for this to be an earthworm, given that it was found in a bathroom (they have been known to appear in toilets). Earthworms are not dangerous to humans, but are benevolent benefactors of the environment. As such, our reader needs not be concerned about the worm’s presence. The only thing that has us doubting this identification is the lack of the clitellum, which is the band of thicker skin typically present around the middle of the worm’s body.
Finally, we think this could be a brahminy blind snake. In this case, the pink coloration would be the light reflecting off its glossy scales. The brahminy blind snake is one of the world’s smallest snakes, and is often mistaken for an earthworm. They are completely harmless and should not be feared. What makes us think that this might be a brahminy blind snake is its round shape, glossy skin, and the shape of its tail and head (though we cannot tell which one is which). That said, what makes us doubt this conclusion is the fluctuations in the girth of the body. If it were a brahminy blind snake, its body would have a uniform thickness.
In conclusion, we are not entirely sure what this worm is. We would need better pictures and/or more context to give an answer that is 100% certain. In any case, we suggest that our reader take precautions if and when handling this worm, and that she simply move it outside: considering that she only found one worm, we think this will suffice in solving the issue. Of course, if she finds more worms, then she is welcome to contact us again with more photos and context, or if the situation is dire, then she may want to call a professional to come and physically handle the infestation.
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