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Subclass: Oligochaeta

Status: Not Listed

Classification: Invertebrate


Earthworms are harmless, often beneficial residents of the soil. Earthworms breakdown dead and decaying organic matter into rich humus soil, thereby supporting plant growth. They also dig tiny channels and make holes that aerate soil and improve drainage.

Life History

Earthworm mating typically occurs after it has rained and the ground is wet. They emerge from the soil and jut out their anterior end. They wait for another earthworm to point in the opposite direction and then breed. The two worms join together, and a mucus is secreted so that each worm is enclosed in a tube of slime.

Fun Fact

Earthworms are hermaphrodites, meaning an individual worm has both male and female reproductive organs.

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