“Can you tell me what kind of worm this is?” is all this reader asks in her submission regarding the long, yellow worm-like creature pictured below. Without any context as to the location it was discovered and to the concerns our reader might have with its discovery, it becomes very difficult to identify the organisms unless they are ones we commonly see and can identify solely by sight. Unfortunately, this is not a worm we have seen before (as far as we know), and so we will not be able to give a concrete identification. That said, we can still provide some educated guesses.
While most of the worm’s body looks like it could be round, one end of its body looks almost flat. As such, we entertained the idea that this could be a flatworm. Though in that case, it would be a really thin flatworm, as they are usually wider and not quite as long. On top of that, this worm does not look as slimy as flatworms usually are, though we suppose it could be a dried-up, dead one. Flatworms are predatory worms, and there are thousands of species across multiple habitats: some flatworms live underwater, some on land. Some are harmless, and some are parasites (eg: tapeworms). We have covered flatworms multiple times over the years, and to this day are one of the most fascinating worms in existence, mostly due to their incredible abilities, such as cellular regeneration.
With all of that said, if this is a flatworm, it could be a canary worm. Canary worms are found across Tasmania and Australia, even though they are flatworms, they are long and thin like this one. Like most flatworms, canary worms are predatory and eat small invertebrates. They are not known to be dangerous, but they can secrete toxins that can cause irritation and/or stinging, so, unless one wears gloves, we recommend avoiding making physical contact with the creature. If this was found inside our reader’s home, we suggest she scoop it onto a dustpan and move it outside.
To conclude, we think this could be a canary worm, though without any context, we cannot say this for certain. If our reader does not live in a location where these can be found, it is likely something else. In that case, we recommend she take the worm to her local county extension office to have it identified. Regardless, we hope something in here proves helpful, and we wish our reader the very best!
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