SPECIES ID / Invertebrates

Aquatic Earthworms


Identification Tips:

• Segmented, muscular, elongated, tubular body
• No suckers or eye spots

Life History:

• Most types burrow soft mud or silt pond or lake bottoms but may be found in all habitat types
• Breathe through their skin, and/or by pumping water in and out of the anus
• Some species are bright red (hemoglobin) and tolerate very low oxygen or may live without oxygen for weeks
• Able to regenerate lost or damaged portions of the body
• Activity mixes top layers of sediment in lakes and ponds, aerating it
• Life span ranges from several weeks to several years, depending on species

Very SensitiveSomewhat SensitiveFacultativeSomewhat TolerantVery Tolerant

Primary Information Source:
Voshell, J. Reese. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company. Blacksburg, Virginia.