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Giant earthworm

Giant earthworm

This giant earthworm can grow up to one metre long.

This giant earthworm can grow up to one metre long and as thick as your thumb. It is rare to see the worm during the day but occasionally one can be seen along the rainforest track. Rosettes of leaves and sticks poking out of the ground mark the entrance to giant earthworm burrows.

Water balance is critical for an earthworm, as they breathe through their skin, so a moist soil is desirable. Worms move with their whole body, by extending and relaxing their muscles. They have bristly hairs called setae that can hold onto the soil and help when burrowing to their underground home.

Little is known about the biology of these worms as the spend much of their life underground. They are most active at night after rainfall. The worms perform an important function in the rainforest by recycling nutrients back into the soil and aerating the soil through their burrows.