What Kind of Worms Are These??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by YuccaFlatsRanch, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,649
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hill Country, Texas
    I live in the Hill Country of South Texas. While rebuilding my raised beds (my blacksoil is over 18 inches deep after many years of work) I noticed a large number of really long earthworms. Some are over 6 inches in length but only about 1/8th inch in diameter. They are really vigorous worms. I have never put any worms in the beds. Are these just mega redworms or maybe redworms on steroids or what. I picked several hundred of the worms and have put them into a worm box. I also noticed that they were 10-12 iches down in the beds, but that was the most moist area. Many were in the heavier soil portions of the beds. Any idea what they are??
     
  2. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    California and Washington
    Lumbricus terrestris (one of several worms known as nightcrawlers) can get to almost a foot in length. That could be your worm. There are a lot of species of earthworms though, so it could be any number of species. Does it have a "collar" - that is, is there a smooth portion of the body that separates the body into two similar "ringed" (segmented) sections?

    As a side note, there are earth worm species in Australia and Africa that can exceed ten feet in length.
     

  3. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
  4. Outlaw9

    Outlaw9 GO VOLS!!!!

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cosby, Tn

    Wow thats I big Worm!! I'm suprised Ted Nugent hasnt did a show on hunting one. You know what they are called? I would like to try and find a pic of one.
     
  5. "Yeah, try threading that one on a hook!" :D
     
  6. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    lol too funny. i have not heard too much out of ted since he did a show featuring "city people" trying to make it in the wild. he was cutting firewood and cut his leg. i guess it may have been embarrassing. lol.

    its ok ted, you still rock! :rock:
     
  7. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, ny
    Nematodes??? We used to go out at night to catch nightcrawlers with a flashlight for fishing the next day. You need a magnifying glass to see nematodes.
     
  8. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

    Messages:
    710
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    west virginia
    Never complain about worms.
    they are good for the soil and keep it areated.
    Gardners know they have succeded in getting good soil
    when they have lots of worms.
     
  9. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    California and Washington
    Thread drift alert: ;)

    The biggest known earth worm in the US is Driloleirus macelfreshi, but it is exceedingly rare, and might be extinct. It's maximum length is thought to be 3 feet.

    The biggest Australian earth worm is Megascolides australis. It's average length is three feet.
     
  10. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Nematodes that are plant pests are small but not all nematodes are so tiny...there are plenty that are easy to see and are sometimes mistaken for "skinny worms". These are usually parasites of wildlife.

    When it has rained or the soil is damp and wet, people can see these "skinny, long worms" wriggling around - sometimes very active.

    Horsehair worms (a common nematode) can be as long as 14 inches and in a variety of colors - they are also easy to see. See the web site for a photo in comparison to a cricket. http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/HorseHairWorm.shtml

    Here's another great photo of nematodes. http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12150_12220-27263--,00.html

    Speaking of size, nematodes range in size from from 0.3 mm to over 13 meters. (the 13 meter nematode lives in a whale)
     
  11. Outlaw9

    Outlaw9 GO VOLS!!!!

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cosby, Tn

    Thanks for the name. Checked out a pic it is huge. I looked the Australian one up on google image search
     
  12. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, ny
    I think the largest worms are tube worms found near volcanic vents or fumurols in the Marianas trench.
    However, back to nematodes.I was surprised to learn that round worms are parasitic nematodes, but, the worms described above were coming from the soil and were described as an eight of an inch in diameter. My guess would be Nightcrawlers, which around here can be ten inches or so long. We get this flat worm sometimes around here with a triangular head and a dark stripe lengthwise on its back. They are usually found singly and on top of the ground. Really wierd. Any ideas? No whales nearby here though :)
     
  13. kars1995

    kars1995 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Just remember everything is bigger, even worms, in Texas. :clap:
     
  14. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    yeah, there was a bit of thread drift. i can't help it i like the motor city madman. he may be a bit hard on "city slickers". irony finds its way to use all eventually. if he had been using an ax and cross-cut saw like the old timers, maybe he wouldn't have gotten hurt.

    about that new york worm...is this a common species or is it like one of those i saw on tv a few months ago that is actually a terrainian worm and not sub-terrainian. they are sort of a new discovery. they were large at the least.

    another interesting worm seen on tv was the ice worm. that little bugger lives in ice! the focus of that show was to spotlight organisms that can live in extreme conditions.

    here in sc pa, i have nightcrawlers. the biggest are usually not over 10 inches but sometimes they get to a foot. when i was a kid and fished, i used to dig redworms from the horse dung. those little wigglers get some attention, lol.

    links from this thread have benefitted me in one regard. i was concerned about the feral cat poop in my garden. i was worried about getting worms from them via eating raw veggies. the link i visited suggested that most species of parasites that infect animals rarely are a problem for humans. (worms in poop)
     
  15. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,077
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin.. Zone 5
    LOL,Thats because threre are so many bulls in Texas.
     
  16. kars1995

    kars1995 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Hey! I do hope that 'bull' statement wasn't referring to me. :nana: We have tons of worms on our ranch. Looks like mini bebe volcanos everywhere. At least it's good for the soil. Now if there was just something to control all the fireant hills. :mad:
     
  17. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, ny
    Isn't Texas the capital of Alaska? ;)
    I found the ID of the flat worms. They are called land planarians, apparently native to southeast asia, and found fairly recently in the US. They are carnivorous and eat worms and slugs. If they can't find food, they turn cannibalistic. I guess worm farmers in the south are affected very seriously. They prefer humid environments.
     
  18. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Planaria were the subjects of our "regeneration" experiments when I was in high school. If you slice the "head" of a planaria right down the center - it will regenerate two heads....(very cool!)

    (we fed them bits of raw hamburger to keep them alive)
     
  19. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    California and Washington
    There are thousands of planarians (flatworms) all over the world. Most of them are marine.

    The particularly interesting thing about flatworms is their memory. If you let a flatworm learn how to run a maze and you then chop up that flatworm and feed it to other flatworms, all the flatworms that ate a piece will also know how to run the maze.
     
  20. Outlaw9

    Outlaw9 GO VOLS!!!!

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cosby, Tn

    Wow that is crazy. I wonder if thats where some tribes got the idea that eating a person will make them stronger.