Latin name: Lumbricidae
class: Belt worms
size: 10 - 30cm
Older: 2 - 8 years
Appearance: different color variants
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Grasses, leaves
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
natural enemies: Ant, mouse, mole, fox, several species of birds
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: in principle year-round, but outside the winter time
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the earthworm
- Earthworms or Lumbricidae describe a worldwide family of several hundred species within the annelid worms.
- Earthworms colonize the soil on all continents and are found everywhere, with the exception of polar areas, vegetation-free desert regions and high mountains.
- Depending on the species, earthworms can grow up to thirty centimeters long. Your body consists of up to 150 segments.
- On the surface, it is difficult to see where the earthworm is in front and behind. Only on closer inspection, the head flap with the mouth opening becomes visible. In addition, always at the front part is the bright thickening, the so-called belt, which is important in the first place for the reproduction.
- The skin surface is nude and slimy and has a pair of small chitin bristles on each segment, which are anchored in the soil.
- The wavy locomotion comes about through contractions of the skin muscle tube.
- The earthworm lives exclusively in the ground, where it digs narrow passages and tubes. He lays the corridors with his droppings while moving. This dries with time, hardens and therefore serves as a backbone for the earthworm system of the earthworm.
- This way of life benefits the relaxation of the reason. The branched tube system allows the water to spread better in the soil.
- There are about a hundred earthworms living in one square meter of earth.
- They do not make much demands on the soil texture, but they can not survive in an overly acidic environment, as the acid would destroy their protective mucus layer.
- The earthworm only stays in the upper layers of the earth during the mild seasons. If it is too hot in the summer or too frosty in the winter, it retreats deep into the ground and falls into a kind of transitional sleep or cold staring, as it gathers together and lingers motionless.
- Due to the naked and therefore sensitive body surface, the earthworm tolerates no direct sunlight.
- Earthworms are predominantly nocturnal and eat plant parts and soil during the dark. As they feed, they pull blades of grass, leaves, and withered plant matter into their passages.
- Undigested material is returned as feces. This contains a high concentration of different minerals and serves the plants as a vital natural fertilizer.
- The earthworm is therefore an extremely valuable soil inhabitant, which is significantly involved in the ecological balance in the underground.
- As hermaphrodites, earthworms mutually fertilize each other by exchanging sperm. In the belt of each earthworm, a mucous cuff is then formed, in which the oocytes ripen and are finally fertilized by the sperm.
- After fertilization, the earthworm winds itself out of the mucus cuff, which hardens in the air to a cocoon. In it grow the small worms that finally hatch after a few weeks.
- Depending on the species, earthworms can reach an age of up to eight years.