Currently viewing the category: "Worms"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flatworm from Peru
Location: Peru; near Iquitos
March 13, 2014 5:52 pm
I know this is not exactly a “bug”. However I d be very glad if u d be able to help me to identify this.. flatworm. Thanks for any suggestion :)
Signature: Jiri Hodecek

Planarium

Planarium

Hi again Jiri,
When we were contemplating the subtitle of Daniel’s Book, The Curious World of Bugs, we settled upon “the mysterious and remarkable lives of things that crawl” because “Bug” is a generic term, despite the fact that True Bugs are in the suborder Heteroptera.  If it crawls, we have room for it on our site.  Flatworms, including Planaria, are in the class Turbellaria, and when we attempted to research this identification for you, we discovered a nearly identical image on Stock Photography that interestingly was also taken at Iquitos, Peru.  Alas, it is not identified further than the class Turbellaria.  Another unidentified individual from the Andes in Peru is pictured on Age PHotostock.

Hello, yeah I guess its quiet impossible to ID it better, thank you! :)
Jirka

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi WTB….we have removed our lawn in the backyard and are in the process
of re-landscaping. Today, I noticed these little mounds of dirt. I seem to
recall that these might be made not by ants, but by bees. These mounds are
everywhere! We are in Eagle Rock…
Hope all is well!
Best,
Brenda Rees
Editor
Southern California Wildlife

Worm Casings???

Worm Castings???

Hi Brenda,
We do not believe these are caused by Bees.  We suspect they might be Worm Castings.  See Scotty’s Place and  News Times for similar images.  News Times states:  “The little mounds are actually earthworm castings. Recent rains have been helped plants stressed by drought, but more soil moisture and cool temperatures increased earthworm activity” and we did just have a good soaking last week.  The same image is used on Horticulture.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of worm is this?
Location: southern California
December 21, 2013 8:46 pm
Hi, I live in southern California, and was outside getting some leaves out of my pool. It was about 55 degrees, rather typical for this time of year. I live in 91381. There was some leftover moisture from my sprinklers that had accumulated on the concrete hardscape. I noticed this weird looking, worm like bug. I have seen one like this last year. Sunny day, background is wet concrete.
The odd thing is that the color and markings resembled a baby snake, sort of. The head has an ever-changing shape that generally looks like a semi circle, or a fan shape. This bug moved like a worm. What is it? Is it dangerous? I have a Labrador Retriever that is outside, often and want to make sure there are no concerns for any of us.
Your help is greatly appreciated.
Signature: MPS

Arrowhead Flatworm

Arrow-Headed Flatworm

Dear MPS,
This oddity is an Arrow-Headed Flatworm, one of the Planaria, and we believe it is
Bipalium kewensis.  According to Charles Hogue in his landmark book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “the species was discovered in 1878 in the greenhouses of Kew Gardens near London, hence its scientific name.  It has a wide distribution in warm climates.  It needs a moist habitat and it is usually encountered near outdoor water faucets, where the soil often remains wet.  It original home is unknown but is possibly the Indo-Malayan region.  … These are benign creatures — they do not damage plants or cause any medical problems.”  We suspect that populations of this species get established in new locations when plants are purchased from nurseries.

Arrow-Headed Flatworm

Arrow-Headed Flatworm

Update:  Benign or Not???
Thanks to a comment from Barbara, we decided to do a bit more research and we found some interesting information.  The Dirt Doctor states:  “Rather than helping control termite larvae, grubs and other pests, etc. it seems that it is only a destructive pest that needs to be gotten rid of.  It only eats earthworms. The predatory land planarian is no friend of earthworms.  In fact, they are parasites that eat earthworms and can wipe out entire populations.”  Calling the Arrow-Headed Flatworm a parasite does not seem accurate to us.  A more correct term would be predator.  The Red Worm Composting website states:  “Land planarians can be a serious earthworm predator in certain parts of the world – generally they are more of a threat in warmer regions, but certain species are found in more temperate zones as well. They are particularly dangerous because they can reproduce incredibly quickly, and have been reported to wipe out an entire worm population (in a worm farm) in a matter of days.”  The two previous citations come from sites that recommend worm farming, and that is not necessarily a natural environment for the worms as they live in confinement.  The chances of a Land Planarian wiping out all the worms in a garden seem incredibly remote as the worms in a typical garden are not confined.  According to the Galveston County Master Gardeners Beneficials in the Garden page on Land Planaria:  “Now the good news . . . Land Panarians are effective predators as they will eat slugs and many types of harmful insect larvae. The thought of having a beneficial that preys on slugs should be encouraging!  But now the not-so-good news . . . while all of this sounds rather benign, the land planarian is not necessarily without flaws (at least from a gardener’s perspective—but Mother Nature does not operate in such black-and-white perspectives). Like an earthworm, it burrows in moist soil, but it can exhibit much more sinister epicurean habits. Although it will eat slugs and harmful insect larvae, the Land Planarian will also dine on earthworms!”
  The bottom line is that any species, however seemingly benign it might be, can negatively affect the natural ecosystem when it is introduced.  The Arrow-Headed Flatworm is an introduced species, so we will tag it as an Invasive Exotic species.  The larger issue here is how human behavior has irrevocably changed the ecology of the planet by introducing foreign plants and animals, either intentionally for food and decoration, or accidentally, and then how those introduced species interface with native plants and animals.  Once the factors of agriculture and animal husbandry are considered, the waters get very murky.  If a native meadow with native milkweed is destroyed to plant corn on many acres, and then some insect is introduced that decimates the corn crop, is the insect the invasive exotic or is the corn and the farmer who planted the corn to blame?  Sadly, that ship sailed long ago.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Worms in Chile’s Atacama Desert sand dunes
Location: Atacama Desert, Chile
November 20, 2013 6:16 am
In the sand dunes of the Atacama Desert, near the city of Copiapo (Chile), I found strange lines near the crest of the dunes. When I looked closer I saw that some of them at one end were advancing. Digging with the finger into the sand I found little worms, not more than 1 cm long.
These dunes only receive some moisture from the coastal fog.
I was wondering what these worms live of and what species they are?
Signature: Gerhard Huedepohl

Mysterious Dune Tracks

Mysterious Dune Tracks

Hi Gerhard,
We have prepared all of your images for posting prior to doing any research, and we are not certain if we will find an answer, but we really wanted to post your request prior to leaving for work.  We couldn’t find anything quickly, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a comment with a link that helps to solve this mystery.

Dune Worm

Dune Worm

Hi Daniel,
thank you very much for this message. I have also tried to find information on the web, but without success so far. That’s why I hope really to find out some information with your help.
Lets see, if something comes up.
Best regards,
Gerhard

Hi again Gerhard,
You might want to post a comment to the posting in the event the answer doesn’t come for several years. 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: rice like worms in my pumice bar
Location: shower, st Louise missouri
October 11, 2012 8:35 pm
Can you please help me figure out what these are so I can figure out what measures I,need to take to get rid of . I found them in my pumice bar in the shower.
Signature: Charline henry from missouri

Mystery Worms

Ed. Note:  Our automated response:
Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

Im thinking they are larvae from drain fly but I am not for sure

Hi Charline,
There is not enough detail in your photo for us to be certain.  They might be Drain Fly larvae.  They appear to resemble this image from BugGuide.  Perhaps one of our readers will have a better idea what they might be.

That looks like them but they are a little darker. Would they lay eggs in a pumice bar?

They are usually found in the sludge that forms in drains.  The pumice bar location is a real puzzler.

That what has me stumped, unless it got into the liqour before it laid the eggs…. now ive seen some silverfish and my neighbor,we live in condos, said she has had carpet beetles. do u think it could be one of them?

Neither Silverfish nor Carpet Beetle Larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bed bugs? please help
Location: wa
April 17, 2012 6:19 pm
hi my name is josh i have no idea about bed bugs we have been seeing there pod looking things for a couple of weeks now just on out sheets none on the matress it self and we do sleep with a yorkie that just started going outside and has all her shots and we gave her flea treatmeant the night before and a bath and the next day i found these all over the sheet and but them all together and tooks some pics and i have no idea what they are can your please help me thank you i hate not knowing what it is
Signature: josh

Sesame Seeds or Tapeworm segments???

Hi Josh,
Though there has been a significant rise in the occurrence of Bedbugs in recent years, the internet hysteria on the topic is greatly disproportional.  Do you eat sesame bagels in bed very often?  These are sesame seeds and you are not the first person who has contacted us with this paranoia.  See this account from our archives which is the second most popular posting on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination