Common Name: Giant Gippsland Earthworm

Scientific Name: Megascolides australis

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Annelida

Class: Oligochaeta

Order: Haplotaxida

Family: Megascolecidae

Genus: Megascolides

Species: M. australis

Giant Gippsland Earthworms measure to 80cm long to 3m. They are being threatened and are almost extinct. They live in soil. The Giant Gippsland Earthworm lives in Victoria, Australia. They are being threatened by the European colonization. The Giant Gippsland Earthworm is the largest Earthworm in the world. They are found in Bass River Valley usually found on the creek or river banks. It was discovered in 1878. It spends most of its time underground.

 

The world population is unknown. They have multicellular clitellum. They have closed circulatory system. They also have a ventral blood vessel. They also have a pair of 5 hearts. The Earthworm is a decomposer. They can replace any segments that they lose. They have many predators. One is the American Robin. They can also survive underwater for a couple hours. They need food so that they don’t become endangered.

Earthworms are classified into three different: Epigeic, endogeic, and anemic. They are pinkish-gray color and it has a purple head. They are so gentle, even a human touch could kill it. They are sometimes called angleworm. They are also called megadriles which means big worm. There are about 1000 species of worms. They breed in spring and in the summer. The eggs are 2-3 mm long.

Author: Noah M

Published: 03/2008

Photo Credit: http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~aherns/worms.jpg

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