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

Subject: Long blue worm
Location: Dickson, Tn (near Nashville)
July 22, 2014 4:52 pm
Found this worm hanging in an oak tree on July 20 by a silk thread. It is 5-6 inches long and iridescent in the sunlight. Can’t find any info about it, hoping you can help. Thanks.
Signature: Carole

Blue Worm:  Hoax or Real???

Blue Worm: Hoax or Real???

Dear Carole,
We have no idea what this is, but it does not look natural and it appears to have been hung by a human.

Blue worm

Blue worm

So sorry to bother you.  I came to the same conclusion you did  this afternoon as I got more curious and decided to get a step ladder out and touch it.  Turns out it is a fishing lure.  I still have no idea how it got into a tree in my back yard.  My yard is fenced with no gate and I have several dogs (they are friendly).  I hung a chandelier on the next branch over not long ago and the worm was not there then.  I live alone and do not fish.  It is now a new mystery.  Thank you so much for your time.  A friend sent me to your site…it is really interesting.  Again sorry for sending you on a wild goose chase.   Carole

Don’t worry Carole.  Your submission prompted a robust dialog in our comment section and led to some nice links of “real” blue worms in various parts of the world.

Detail of Blue Worm

Detail of Blue Worm

 

 

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: HELP! ATTACK OF THE SEEDS
Location: NYC
January 5, 2013 2:02 pm
hello bug man!
I have been noticing odd seed like things in my bed for months now and debris that goes along with it. I have not included pictures of the debris but if it turns up I will. I have been also noticing hard clear tiny objects that almost look like a sugar candy, very hard to describe and no picture either, yet. Please look at the pictures of the seed like objects. I have no animals and I’m baffled and freaked out by these things. I would love to hear its sesame seeds but I do not believe it is because every once and a while there is a very flattened UN-natural version of it. I do not believe it is bed bugs because I would of seen evidence or bites or stains etc or exoskeletons.. the debris i have been finding are little almost flecks and dots of black brown and white. Like sugar crystals in a way.
Thanks if you have any idea –
Signature: MARIO

NOT Sesame Seeds, but Tapeworm Eggs

Hi Mario,
In our opinion, these are Sesame Seeds, though the largest object in the foreground might be something else.  These are not of insect origin.  Stop eating baked goods or crackers in bed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination