Worms vary in size from microscopic to over 1 metre (3.3 ft) in length for marine polychaete worms (bristle worms); 6.7 metres (22 ft) for the African giant earthworm, Microchaetus rappi; and 58 metres (190 ft) for the marine nemertean worm (bootlace worm), Lineus longissimus. Various types of worm occupy a small variety of parasitic niches, living inside the bodies of other animals. Free-living worm species do not live on land but instead live in marine or freshwater environments or underground by burrowing.
In biology, \"worm\" refers to an obsolete taxon, vermes, used by Carolus Linnaeus and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for all non-arthropod invertebrate animals, now seen to be paraphyletic. The name stems from the Old English word wyrm. Most animals called \"worms\" are invertebrates, but the term is also used for the amphibian caecilians and the slowworm Anguis, a legless burrowing lizard. Invertebrate animals commonly called \"worms\" include annelids (earthworms and marine polychaete or bristle worms), nematodes (roundworms), platyhelminthes (flatworms), marine nemertean worms (\"bootlace worms\"), marine Chaetognatha (arrow worms), priapulid worms, and insect larvae such as grubs and maggots.
In taxonomy, \"worm\" refers to an obsolete grouping, Vermes, used by Carl Linnaeus and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for all non-arthropod invertebrate animals, now seen to be polyphyletic. In 1758, Linnaeus created the first hierarchical classification in his Systema Naturae. In his original scheme, the animals were one of three kingdoms, divided into the classes of Vermes, Insecta, Pisces, Amphibia, Aves, and Mammalia. Since then the last four have all been subsumed into a single phylum, the Chordata, while his Insecta (which included the crustaceans and arachnids) and Vermes have been renamed or broken up. The process was begun in 1793 by Lamarck, who called the Vermes une espèce de chaos (a sort of chaos)[a] and split the group into three new phyla, worms, echinoderms, and polyps (which contained corals and jellyfish). By 1809, in his Philosophie Zoologique, Lamarck had created 9 phyla apart from vertebrates (where he still had 4 phyla: mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish) and molluscs, namely cirripedes, annelids, crustaceans, arachnids, insects, worms, radiates, polyps, and infusorians. Chordates are remarkably wormlike by ancestry.
In the 13th century, worms were recognized in Europe as part of the category of reptiles that consisted of a miscellany of egg-laying creatures, including \"snakes, various fantastic monsters, lizards, assorted amphibians,\" as recorded by Vincent of Beauvais in his Mirror of Nature. In everyday language, the term worm is also applied to various other living forms such as larvae, insects, millipedes, centipedes, shipworms (teredo worms), or even some vertebrates (creatures with a backbone) such as blindworms and caecilians. Worms include several groups.
Familiar worms include the earthworms, members of phylum Annelida. Other invertebrate groups may be called worms, especially colloquially. In particular, many unrelated insect larvae are called \"worms\", such as the railroad worm, woodworm, glowworm, bloodworm, butterworm, inchworm, mealworm, silkworm, and woolly bear worm.
Worms may also be called helminths, particularly in medical terminology when referring to parasitic worms, especially the Nematoda (roundworms) and Cestoda (tapeworms). Hence, \"helminthology\" is the study of parasitic worms. When a human or an animal, such as a dog or horse, is said to \"have worms\", it means that it is infested with parasitic worms, typically roundworms or tapeworms. Deworming is a method to kill off the worms that have infected a human or animal by giving anthelmintic drugs.
Lobopodians are an informal grouping of extinct panarthropods from the Cambrian to the Carboniferous that are often called worms or \"worm like animals\" despite the fact they had legs in the form of stubby lobopods. Likewise, the extant Onychophora are sometimes called velvet worms despite possessing stubby legs.
Jumping worms, are non-native, invasive earthworms first confirmed in Wisconsin in 2013. Native to eastern Asia, they present challenges to homeowners, gardeners and forest managers. Jumping worms get their name from their behavior. When disturbed, they thrash, spring into the air and can even shed their tails to escape.
Endemic to parts of Asia, jumping worms (Amynthas spp.) first arrived in North America sometime in the late 19th century, probably in imported plants and other horticultural and agricultural materials. Since then, jumping worms have become widespread across much of the northeast, southeast and midwestern U.S. In 2013, jumping worms were confirmed for the first time in the upper Midwest, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum.
Surprisingly, all earthworms in Wisconsin are non-native. There have been no native earthworms in Wisconsin since the last glacier moved through the state thousands of years ago, scouring the landscape down to the bedrock. The familiar earthworms we see in our gardens and on our fishing hooks originated in Europe, brought here by settlers. Although all earthworms can harm landscapes and forests, jumping worms may pose a bigger threat than European worms.
Jumping worms can quickly transform soil into dry, granular pellets with a texture like discarded coffee grounds. This altered soil structure is often unaccommodating to ornamental and garden plants and inhospitable to many native plant species. In addition, they can deplete the soil of nutrients, impact soil organisms, and in many cases, invasive plants thrive where jumping worms live.
Unlike most other kinds of earthworms, jumping worms are parthenogenic - they self-fertilize and do not need mates to reproduce. Each new generation begins with the production of hardened egg capsules, known as cocoons, that overwinter in the soil to hatch the following spring. Jumping worm cocoons are resistant to cold and drought and are as tiny as mustard seeds. Since they greatly resemble small bits of dirt, they are hard to see and so are often unknowingly moved in soil, mulch, potted plants, etc.
All earthworms, not just jumping worms, can harm forests by changing the soil structure and forest floor vegetation. Their feeding can result in a loss of soil moisture, compacted soil, exposed roots, erosion and an increase of pathogens and non-native plants. The result is less diversity of native plants and animals in delicate forest ecosystems.
Unwelcome guests: Beware the emergence of dreaded jumping worms [exit DNR] by Kathy Stahl, co-chair of the Lower Chippewa Invasives Partnership. A well-written article first published in the Dunn county News on July 7, 2018.
Traditionally, worms have been raised for fishing bait as well as a protein and enzyme source for various products, including animal food and biodegradable cleansers. Worms have also been used to manage agricultural wastes such as dairy manure. They convert waste into worm manure (also known as worm castings), a nutrient-rich, biologically beneficial soil product.
Vermicomposting is the use of worms as a composting method to produce vermicompost. Vermiculture is worm farming for the production of worms. In recent years, worm farming has been practiced on both a small and large scale with three complementary goals in mind: waste diversion, vermicomposting, and vermiculture.
Much of the content of worm castings and their effects on plants are still being studied. Nonetheless, farmers and soils blenders know the benefits of worm castings from their actual effect on plants and product sales, even when the worms are fed low-nutrient materials such as paper fiber.
Most worm farms raise two main types of earthworm: Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubellis. These worms are commonly used to produce vermicompost, as well as for fish bait. Both are referred to by a variety of common names, including red worms, red wigglers, tiger worms, brandling worms, and manure worms. These two species are often raised together and are difficult to tell apart, though they are not believed to interbreed. While several other species have been successfully bred in recent years, this fact sheet focuses primarily on the use of these species.
Because worms have no teeth, they need some type of grit in their bedding that they can swallow and use in their gizzard to grind food, much like birds do with small stones. A little soil or sand will work, but it should be sterile so that no foreign organisms are introduced. Common additives used include rock dust or oyster flour (ground up oyster shells).
Worms will eat a wide variety of organic materials such as paper, manure, fruit and vegetable waste, grains, coffee grounds, and ground yard wastes. While worms will eat meat and dairy products, it is best not to feed these materials or oily foods to worms, due to potential odor and pest problems. Worms will consume limited amounts of citrus scraps, but limonene, a chemical compound found in citrus, is toxic to worms, so it is best to limit or avoid feeding them this material.
Since worms have no teeth, any food they eat must be small enough to swallow, or soft enough for them to bite. Some foods may not be soft enough initially for them to consume, but they quickly degrade so that the worms can consume them.
One commonly used method of harvesting is to dump the bin onto a tarp in bright light, allowing the worms to burrow down to escape the light. Castings can then be separated by slowly scraping them away, pausing periodically to let the worms burrow further. Eventually, you are left with a pile of worms.
Some will harvest by placing new bedding in one half of the bin, and feed exclusively on that side. Eventually (sometimes over a period of several weeks) most of the worms will move to the side with the new bedding, and the finished compost can be harvested. 59ce067264