Mass of Earthworms with Translucent Bodies Found After Rain

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“Can you identify what kind of earthworm this is?” asks this reader in her submission. “They are thin, long and red and appear after rain. Location is Malaysia. Would be great if I can know the scientific name as well. Thank you!” First off, we want to thank our reader for the incredible photo she sent us. The detail in it is astounding, to the point where we can zoom in on the photo and see all the individual details of the worms. On that note, once the worms have been zoomed in on, one can see that their bodies are actually translucent, showing a long string of entrails (which we assume to be their intestines) on the inside, as well as stringy, red veins.

Despite the incredible photo, we are not sure what these worms are. Our reader states they are some kind of earthworm, but besides their pinkish red coloration and long, thin bodies, we do not know what evidence she has to support this claim. We see no clitellum (the thick band of skin that encircles the center of most species of earthworms), and they also do not appear to be segmented, which earthworms are. Of course, they could very well be segmented: the translucency of their bodies makes it difficult to discern if this is the case or not.

That said, they did show up after rain, which is very typical of earthworms (and any soil-dwelling creatures), so we understand why she would come to this conclusion. Nonetheless, we remain uncertain about this. On another note, these worms reminded us of glycera worms, which are a species of aquatic bloodworms. They are long and pink, just like these worms, and they can reach lengths of 14 inches! That said, they are also bristle worms, and from what we can tell, the worms our reader found do not possess bristles. For that reason, we concluded that these are probably not glycera worms. Besides, if they were a type of bloodworm, they would not need to surface during heavy rainfall, as bloodworms are able to survive in low-oxygen conditions.

To conclude, we are unfortunately not sure what species of earthworm these are, if they are earthworms at all. We recommend that our reader take a sample of these worms to the entomology department at a university to have experts look at them. Since they will also have physical access to the worms, they might have a better chance at identifying them. Likewise, if any of our other readers have any ideas as to what these could be, they are free to voice them in the comments section below. We wish our reader the very best!

 

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Mass of Earthworms with Translucent Bodies Found After Rain
Article Name
Mass of Earthworms with Translucent Bodies Found After Rain
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"Can you identify what kind of earthworm this is?" asks this reader in her submission. "They are thin, long and red and appear after rain."
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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