Saturday, 13 April 2013

Stranded Worms

Lobworm, Lumbricus terrestris (?).  Hayes, 12 April 2013
Lobworm, Lumbricus terrestris (?).  Hayes, 12 April 2013
After a rainy night it is not unusual to see worms on the wet pavement next morning.  There were several when I went out today.

Some species come partly out at night looking for mates, and Lobworms, Lumbricus terrestris, also look for dead leaves to pull into their holes for later consumption.  You can see them on wet lawns at night, heads out of their holes and tails still well in.  They are sensitive to light and vibration and will quickly pop back in, pulled by their tails, if they get one of these danger messages.

It's not obvious why they should come right out of their holes when it rains, but clearly they do, and sometimes this leaves them stranded on pavements with no obvious way to get back to safety.  I usually pick them up and put them onto some grass or earth.

I am far from being a worm expert, so the one at the top might not be a Lobworm. It looks about right, but there are other species.

Blue-Grey Worm, Octolasion cyaneum.  Hayes, 12 April 2013.
Blue-Grey Worm, Octolasion cyaneum.  Hayes, 12 April 2013.
Here is one such.  This was also on a pavement this morning.  The telltale feature of this species is the group of yellowish segments at the tip of its tail.

Like the other stranded worms, it was fully extended, trying in vain to travel to a safer environment.  It was lucky I came along.  There don't seem to be many worm rescuers round these parts.

No comments:

Post a Comment