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My Anatomy

I already told you about my clitellum, that whitish band near my anterior (head) end. It forms when I am about 4 to 6 weeks old. It has both male and female reproductive organs. (That means I am neither a boy or girl, I am both).

When mating, another worm and I join together with heads pointing in opposite directions. Sperm is passed from one worm to the other and stored in sacs. Then a cocoon forms on each of us on our clitellum. As we back out of the narrowing cocoons, eggs and sperm are deposited in the cocoon.

After we back out, the cocoon closes and fertilization takes place. The cocoons are much smaller than a grain of rice and are yellow-colored. Each cocoon can have 1-5 worms. If conditions are not right for hatching, such as dryness, my cocoons can be dormant for years and hatch when conditions are right.

My babies will hatch in 2-3 weeks. The new baby worms are whitish, and you can practically see through them (but I think they are beautiful, just like any parent). My babies are only 1/2 to one inch long. They are on their own as soon as they are born. In about six weeks, they will produce their own baby worms. I'll be a grandparent and the cycle starts all over again.

My Beginning and End What's Next? How I Feel
Segments and Setae Light Sensitivity
My Clitellum My Mouth
Parts Quiz How I Move
How I Digest Food How I Breathe
How I Reproduce My Five Hearts