Common Name: Caenorhabditis elegans
Scientific Name: Caenorhabditis elegans
Species: C. elegans
Caenorhabditis elegans is unusal for nematodes since it is a free-living nematode. It grows to be about 1 mm in length. C. elegans lives in temperate soil environments. C. elegans are hermaphroditic which means they are both male and female. When crowded or in the absence of food, C. elegans can enter a dorminate state where they are stress-resistant and do not age.
When self-inseminated the wild-type worm will lay approximately 300 eggs. When inseminated by a male, the number of progeny can exceed 1,000. C. elegans has an average life span of approximately 2-3 weeks and a generation time of approximately 4 days. C. elegans is one of the simplest organisms with a nervous system. It has 302 neurons (nerve cells). C. elegans has been the subject of countless scientific studies.
Author: Molly S
Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C_elegans_stained.jpg