Re: NANFA-- Aquatic earthworms

Dave Neely (
Sun, 30 Apr 2000 18:22:30 CDT

>...That's what I thought was probably the case, but I wasn't sure.What >I
>don't understand is how earthworms could survive in your aquarium >for
>months but die in a pail of water and turn to mush after only >being in
>there for a day for me.The only plausible reason that I can >think of is
>aeration and filtration of the water in the aquarium vs. >no
>aeration/filtration in the bucket I had them in.

One other, perhaps more parsimonious possibility is that the greenish worms
in question aren't just your everyday garden variety Lumbricus. According to
Pennak (1978), there are 10 families of aquatic oligochaetes in North
America. These range in size from the Tubifex worms you're probably familiar
with, to some orders that routinely reach 30cm in length. One order in
particular, the Haplotaxidae, are primarily terrestrial but occasionally
occur in mud, debris of stream and lake margins, or sewage treatment plant
ponds. I wouldn't want to collect fish food from the latter.


Pennak, R.W. 1978. Fresh water invertebrates of the United States, 2nd ed.
John Wiley and Sons, New York.

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