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Unidentified Worms Burrow into Snorkeler’s Skin in Crystal River, FL

A reader contacted us after finding tiny worms burrowing into her skin when snorkeling with manatees in Crystal River, Florida. When exiting the water in a shallow area called Jurassic Springs, she found one worm on top of her hand, and another on top of her foot. Naturally, this scared her, and she asks for our help in identifying the worms. Continue reading [...]

Green Paddle Worms Found on Beach in La Paz, Mexico

One of our readers recently sent in a video from the beaches of La Paz, Mexico of a cluster of worms he discovered. He states that the worms vary in size, but estimates that the largest of them are "about the length of a toothpick" and about half the diameter of one. Continue reading [...]

Red-striped Worm in Toilet is a Red Midge Fly Larva

A man from the UK recently sent in this image of a small, thin, red-striped worm found on the rim of his toilet bowl. According to him, the worm is 1cm (0.39-inches) in length and was found after his son had used the toilet. Continue reading [...]

What Creature Was Calcified in Old Wood?

We believe the calcified worm our reader found is a dead shipworm! These specimens are found all over the world and are known for burrowing into shipwrecks and feasting on decaying wood. Continue reading [...]

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 [...]
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