We received an extremely short email from a reader the other day about a black bug that looks like a worm and falls apart when it is dried out or dead. The bug also has a thick body, and it was found in Naples, Florida. The reader’s question – or technically sentence fragment – seemed to concern identification, so we’ll try to make some sense of her message, such as it is, and offer a couple of remarks about what she might have found.
A reader wrote to us on the All About Worms Facebook page about the prospect of reviving a dried-out worm with water. If gotten to soon enough, she asked, could a worm that is rapidly drying out on the sidewalk be resuscitated with water? More precisely, she asked about “red inch garden worms,” which we take to mean some type of inchworm, so she is technically asking about reviving dried-out caterpillars with water, not worms (because inchworms, being the larval form of geometer moths, are caterpillars). This actually changes things a bit, as caterpillars aren’t as susceptible to drying out as worms, but we’ll address both issues at once. So, the whole question before us is: can you revive worms or caterpillars that are dried-out with water?