All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<strong>Earthworm</strong>

When I needed to get a photo of an earthworm I figured the best place to find some would be in the compost heap. Sure enough, one turn of the trowel and I quickly had many to choose from! They were not real thrilled about ...
Earthworm

When I needed to get a photo of an earthworm I figured the best place to find some would be in the compost heap. Sure enough, one turn of the trowel and I quickly had many to choose from! They were not real thrilled about being exposed to the bright sunlight, so they quickly burrowed back down into the decaying orange peels, egg shells and other kitchen scraps.
Earthworms are in the group of worms called annelids, or segmented worms. It is easy to see the small segments in this photo. The wider band in the middle of the worm is called the clitellum, it is from this area from which the worm lays its (or maybe I should say "his/her" since these worms are both male and female!) egg-filled cocoon. I was interested to learn that this band will slide off after the worm deposits the cocoon.
Earthworms are highly beneficial, as they burrow through the ground they consume and digest organic material, returning the nutrients to the soil in their droppings, called frass. They have small, stiff setae which help them move through the soil. I remember having to dissect preserved earthworms in high school biology many years ago. It seemed strange to find out that they had 10 hearts!

Adsense