A reader recently reached out to us from Florida. She discovered a shiny creature in her home and is curious about what it is. She explained that it is about 1.5 inches long and that is was moving very fast. From the photograph our reader sent, we know the specimen is brown, thin, and has a lustrous appearance. We have a few ideas about this specimen, and we will explore those ideas below.
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We think this specimen might be an earthworm, which happens to be one of the most common worms discovered by our readers. Earthworms range from less than 1 inch to 14 inches long, so the worm our reader found (measuring in at 1.5 inches) fits into this size range easily. The coloring of the specimen in question also matches that of an earthworm. Earthworms can be brown, purple, grey, and even sometimes pink! Although the size and coloring of the creature our reader discovered matches that of an earthworm, we aren’t 100% confident that the creature is in fact an earthworm. We will expand on our uncertainty below.
First of all, earthworms have shiny, segmented bodies. The creature in the photo is definitely shiny, but we aren’t sure about segmentation. On one hand, the worm might be segmented, but we just can’t see that detail because of the lighting in the photo. On the other hand, the worm might not be segmented and this might not be an earthworm! Also, an earthworm has a clitellum, which is a thickened non-segmented section of its body, near its head. We think we might see a clitellum on the right end of the creature, but we can’t be certain from the photo alone. Finally, earthworms aren’t particularly fast, moving at about 1 centimeter every 5 seconds, and our reader said this creature was moving fast. Of course, speed is relative and we can’t rule out this being an earthworm based on its speed.
To wrap up, we the creature our reader found might be an earthworm. However, we aren’t completely confident because we were unable to identify some significant earthworm characteristics like segmentation and a clitellum.
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