You may remember collecting worms from the backyard for fishing when you were a child. As an adult, you most likely buy your fishing worms and you may have considered saving some to raise your own bait. Thus, you are probably curious about how fishing worms reproduce.
Worms are hermaphrodites. This means that each worm has both male and female reproductive organs.
Worms are ready to reproduce when they are around three or four months old. At this time they form a white band called the clitellum. This is where the reproductive organs are located.
Even though worms have both male and female organs, two worms are needed to reproduce. They lay next to each other, put their clitellums together and pass sperm to each other.
Each worm will form a cocoon or egg sack. If conditions are right, mature worms will leave a cocoon in the soil every week or so.
Eggs develop in each cocoon. Each egg can hold anywhere from 2 to 20 baby worms, with the average being 4. Under the right conditions, the eggs will hatch in about three weeks, though they can last for several years before hatching.
Article Written By Kathleen Roberts
Kathleen Roberts has been a writer and editor since 1996, specializing in health, nutrition, gardening and outdoor living. She received her master gardener training at the University of Florida and has more than 20 years of experience with herbs and supplements.