In my mulch bed today I came across a tiny red worm, between $\frac{1}{4}$ and $\frac{1}{2}$ an inch long. It moved across the ground by sitting upright on one end, waving the other end back and forth (presumably for some momentum), and then flipping over and standing on the other end. It did this motion flipping end-over-end, kind of like a slinky. Observed in the Chesapeake Bay region.

I haven't been able to find anything on this little creature through searches. An article about leaping nematodes is the only thing remotely in the neighborhood of what I saw but the motion described is different and these sound far too small to be the same creature. Any ideas what this is?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! Can you get pictures of your worm — macro images in particular might be helpful for this identification. You might also want to check out iNaturalist — that site is much more focused on identifications and I think you are more likely to a definitive answer there. $\endgroup$ – tyersome Aug 11 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @tyersome, thank you for the feedback. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture at the time or locate one again since then but will continue trying. I'll give the app a try I can get a pic. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – IPoiler Aug 12 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ Did they resemble these "jumping worms" ? youtube.com/watch?v=jrGnUFDXuyQ this video is not as red or as jumpy as I'm imagining yours to be $\endgroup$ – JimN Sep 8 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ @JimN, very different. This was tiny by comparison to those, less than half an inch, and stood upright, never on it's side like a normal worm. Still have had no luck spotting again to get a picture. $\endgroup$ – IPoiler Sep 10 at 5:17
  • $\begingroup$ @IPoiler how about this one: youtube.com/watch?v=AFkz-L4wNT0 (starting at the 25 second mark) or this one youtube.com/watch?v=xVk87DZB6NY (3:30 mark). Neither of these is red, though, but how does the size and shape compare? $\endgroup$ – JimN Sep 10 at 6:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.