Recently we received a query about a “bug/parasite/worm” that one of our readers in Iowa captured, who went on to elaborate that there are “actually […] two different ones.” The first photograph looks to be some kind of pink creature, with long appendages that snake out from the main body, and the second image showcases what looks to be a tangle of dark brown/black colored worms.
One of the great tics of the English language (and perhaps other languages as well) is that groups of certain animals have different names. It is for this reason that one can point to the sky and scream “murder” as a way to acknowledge the group of crows flying overhead. Worms are like any other type of animal, and in fact a group of worms can be called several different things, although how “official” any of these names are is hard to determine. So, our concern is not necessarily centered on what you should call a group of worms, but rather on what people do in fact call a group of worms. That is, our task is descriptive, not prescriptive, as the lexicographers like to say.