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Name: Kasey B.
Status: student
Age: 8
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 7/16/2003


Question:
How are earthworms born? Are they hatched from eggs or are they born another way? Neither of my grandparents or my mother knows the answer.


Replies:
Quoted from this web site: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2133.html

This refers to commercial hybrid red worms frequently raised and sold for fish bait.

"Earthworms must mate to reproduce, even though one earthworm contains both male and female reproductive organs. Eggs are formed in a slime tube that slips over the worm's head and forms a cocoon or capsule that incubates them. Eggs develop into tiny worms in the cocoon and crawl out through one end when ready to emerge. Cocoons vary in size and shape and are about 1/25 to 1/3 inch long. Some fast-maturing worms mature three to four months after hatching and will start their breeding cycle. Eggs are laid on top of the ground at one-month intervals, with each egg capsule containing 5 to 15 baby worms. If starting with two breeder beds, the crop will be ready for harvesting in about five months and continuing thereafter with proper care. Nightcrawlers are difficult to impossible to raise in homemade containers. Most resort to picking these worms from lawns, gardens and orchards for storing and future use. Worms live 10 to 15 years."

J. Elliott


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