The Worm Moon usually happens in March. Many indigenous peoples count the Moons from new Moon to the next new Moon. This is the moon when I usually see dead earthworms floating in rain puddles.
Why earthworms surface during rainstorms is a mystery to scientists. I share their ideas about the phenomena in the post, Robins, Worms, and Rain.
Prompts for the the Worm Moon
- Have the American Robins returned form their winter in the woods? In my area the Robins retreat to the nearby woods where a creek meanders through connecting waterways and leading to the Atlantic Ocean, just 98 miles away.
- Have the worms surfaced on grass on sidewalks?
- How many species of earthworms are in your area? How many are indigenous? How many are invasive?
There are indigenous earthworms in North America, just not in many northern areas. Do you know if earthworms are indigenous to your area? How are the indigenous worms faring? Are there introduced earthworm species where you live?
In my area there are few if any indigenous earthworms. The indigenous earthworms are mainly in the Maryland area or further south. We do have large, snake-like earthworms that somehow have made their way to the forests in the area. These big worms have cleaned the forest floor of vegetation, compromising the health of the forest ecosystem. Have invasive worms harmed or helped you local ecosystems?
more on Jumping Earthworms on Minnesota DNR
How much do you Know about Earthworms?
- Can you draw an earthworm’s body from memory? It’s not just a smooth tube.
- What do Earthworms eat?
- Are they predator or prey? Or both?
- How do they mate?
- Are the young born alive? Are they hatched from eggs?
Role in the Ecosystem
As a gardener, I often read how earthworms are so beneficial to the soil, but are they? Here is scientific research that says otherwise?
What do you think about the misinformation we learn? How can we live a ecologically sane lifestyle with so much misinformation?
The Trouble with Earthworms (npr.org)
Since this interview (2007) scientists have studied whether earthworms drown? Read this post Robins, Worms, and Rain to learn more.
Native Earthworms of North America
Here’s one hour long video on native earthworms for those of you who are really, really fascinated. Or your kid has a report due.
more on Native Earthworms (on Minnesota DNR)
In tenth grade Biology class, we dissected an earthworm. Of course I volunteered to do the dissecting. In my all girls school, my classmates were happy to let me do it. I did learn valuable lessons about the wonder of how bodies worked. I never did like the idea of cutting up an animal just for my own curiosity. Have you ever dissected and animal especially earthworms? What was the experience like for you? How did you feel about it then? How do you feel about it now?
More about Earthworms
Earthworms are Invasive – and likely hurting insects in much of North America (nationalgeographic.org) – March 29, 2022.