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Ragworms May Be Planting Gardens so They Can Enjoy the Harvests

Every gardener has seen worms and larvae living alongside their plants. Unfortunately, most gardeners have also had to deal with the little critters eating those same plants. However, very few of us have seen worms that plant their own gardens. That is exactly what a research team headed by Zhenchang Zhu discovered when studying the ragworm (Hediste diversicolor). They described their findings in the December, 2016 article entitled Sprouting as a Gardening Strategy to Obtain Superior Supplementary Food: Evidence from a Seed-Caching Marine Worm that was published in the journal Ecology. Ragworms live in the ocean and have been previously admired for their effective food gathering methods. While remaining safe in their dens, ragworms spread webs made of mucus across the dens’ openings. Continue reading [...]

Worms and Eutrophic Waters

One of our readers recently requested that we share all the information we have on small black worms that live in eutrophic water. Eutrophication is a form of water pollution that occurs when excessive fertilizers run into lakes and rivers. This encourages algal bloom (the growth of algae), as well as the growth of other aquatic plants. This "bloom" sounds positive, but there are some negative environmental effects. Eutrophication usually leads to depleted oxygen levels and generally poor water quality. In addition, the sudden growth of algae and aquatic plants causes overcrowding and competition over resources like sunlight, space, and oxygen. There are a lot of worms that thrive in an aquatic environment. However, we don't know of many that prefer polluted water. Tubifex worms, or sludge Continue reading [...]

Blue Heron Devours Worm

One of our readers was visiting the University of Texas Southwestern bird rookery in Dallas when she snapped some fantastic photos. They show a blue heron fledging eating a a creature. She said there are some shallow pools in the rookery so the specimen might be enjoying a freshwater worm. She hopes we can identify the creature in question. Continue reading [...]

Aquatic Worms?

A reader of ours recently sent us a video of what looks to be a worm of some sort. He gave us no information about where he found it, it was solely the video. We did our best to get a screen shot of the video so that our many readers can share their opinions as well. We have determined, however, that this is not a worm at all. Continue reading [...]
bristle worm

Bristle Worms Dying in Aquarium

We received a question via the All About Worms Facebook page from a reader whose bristle worms have died in his aquarium. Actually, the worms didn't just die, but "simultaneously combusted," although presumably this can't be taken too literally, as we don't see how worms in a fish tank could be consumed by fire. The reader isn't worried about the worms themselves, but he is concerned if the death of the bristle worms is a bad portent, spelling trouble for the rest of the tank. So, essentially, the reader wants to know what it means when the bristle worms in your aquarium die. Continue reading [...]
tiny skinny black worm

Tiny, Skinny, Black Worms Found in Salt Water Pool

We received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page a few days ago about "a tiny black skinny worm in my salt water pool," to use the reader's exact wording. The reader lives in Florida, and also reports that the worms are unsegmented and appear to have "diamond shaped scales," but she concedes it is hard to tell if this is an accurate description of the worm's exterior. The reader was having trouble figuring out what she found, so she asked us to identify the tiny, skinny, black worm that she found in her pool. Continue reading [...]
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