Common Name: Caenorhabditis elegans

Scientific Name: Caenorhabditis elegans

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Nematoda

Class: Secernentea

Order: Rhabditida

Family: Rhabditidae

Genus: Caenorhabditis

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

Published: 06/2008



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