A species of the earthworm can be found on every continent in the world. They burrow through soil and help keep it healthy. Some species of earthworm can grow over 13 feet long, all though most are a lot smaller than that. Even though there are many species, their life cycles can be broken down into four stages.
Stage One: Eggs
Earthworm eggs take 2 weeks to 3 months to hatch. The warmer the climate, the quicker the eggs will hatch.
A typical egg cocoon will have 1 to 2 worms in it.
Stage Two: Juvenile
The worms hatch as smaller earthworms that lack reproductive organs; this is the main difference between juvenile worms and adult worms. The worms start to develop reproductive organs after they are hatched.
Stage Three: Adult
They are able to use their reproductive organs at around 12 months. At this time they are considered fully matured.
Earthworms can sometimes live for more than 10 years depending on the species. In the United States earthworms range in color from red to brown, and in other countries they can be blue or green.
Stage Four: Reproduction
Earthworms have both organs needed for reproduction; the term used for this is hermaphrodite. This means that all earthworms lay eggs.
When earthworms mate they lay next to each other and pass mucus like substance that allows each worms organs to be fertilized. After the earthworms mate they form eggs inside their bodies. The worms separate and form cocoons around the eggs, these cocoons are slid off the worm as they move through the soil. When the cocoon rolls off the worm, it becomes sealed. The cocoon is buried underground and the hardened walls protect the forming worm.
Instead of using live worms, there is an earthworm lifecycle model at Heath Scientific that shows different Stages.
The model is made of soft plastic figures that are sculpted and painted to mimic the real creatures.
This makes it simpler show the various parts of an earthworm’s life.
Videos on Earth Worms
Discovery of multiple earthworm species instead of just one.
Short video of a big earthworm.
Where you can learn more
If you want to know more, check out these links or leave a question or comment down below.
- Simple Earthworm Facts
- eHow.com Life Cycle of Earthworms
- Additional Details about the Earthworm Life Cycle
- Many Details about Earthworms