How Do Worms Reproduce? Interesting Insect Facts All Kids Should Know

Ayan Banerjee
Feb 29, 2024 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Nov 10, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Niyati Parab
Earth worm close-up in a fresh wet earth.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 3.4 Min

We hardly know much about the worm reproduction process.

You can easily find live worms in your garden soil, trash bins, and even in your soil compost. They move by pushing their long cylindrical bodies forward.

Worms have no limbs or eyes. They can be microscopic in size or even as long as 3.3 ft (1 m). Red worms commonly live in soil compost as they help in composting organic matter. They have an average lifespan of four to six years. Typically baby worms grow into adults in five to six weeks, then they are able to mate with another worm and the reproduction cycle goes on. They start laying worm eggs in the form of cocoons at the age of two or three months old. Let us learn about the breeding process of different varieties of worms in this article.

Learn amazing and interesting facts about velvet worm facts and how do sponges reproduce at the Kidadl website.

How do segmented worms reproduce?

Varying on the species, segmented worms can have asexual or sexual reproduction.

They are related to other worms like red worms or roundworms. They can procreate by budding off a new worm while the parent worm remains complete. Or they can mate and fertilize eggs inside cocoons that later hatch in ideal conditions. The breeding cycle continues as the babies grow and procreate again.

How do earthworms reproduce?

Earthworms or composting worms have both male and female organs required for reproduction in the clitellum.

These red wiggler worms are marked with a white band form around their heads which is called 'clitellum'. Although these worms have both reproductive organs, they need to mate. Both the worms join together with their band in heads, forming a mucus and facing in opposite directions. The sperm stored in sacs gets deposited from one worm to the other. The head gets separated from the band portion after the mating is over. A cocoon is then formed at the band area of the head and the eggs fertilize and get nourished for a few weeks after that. When the environmental conditions are right, the cocoons hatch.

Red earthworms on the compost.

How do flat worms reproduce?

Flatworms are hermaphrodites. A single mature worm has both male and female reproductive organs.

Depending on the species, the worm can engage in a sexual or asexual reproduction process. Flatworm reproduction can be by fragmentation and budding and the process is called cloning. The worm splits and separates a part of its body, and that extension becomes a new worm and is on its own soon. Additionally, a worm does not multiply when it is split into halves. It can also lay eggs and fertilize those eggs using its own sperm generating in body sacs. Another method is by physical contact between two worms. During this process, the sperm of one worm is absorbed into the skin of the other worm. The fertilized egg then develops into a cocoon within the mother worm body. This cocoon is then released into the environment, near water weeds. The cocoons are much smaller than rice grains and are yellow-lemon in color. The egg gets nourished inside and hatches later in the right conditions.

How do worms reproduce in your stomach?

Worms sometimes are transmitted inside you and can cause irritation. They are called roundworms.

These parasites mate in the intestines present inside human bodies and produce babies there. If present in large numbers the human body shows symptoms. These worms can be both sex-specific species as well as hermaphroditic. Hermaphroditic worms can produce eggs by themselves and also fertilize them whereas sex-specific worms breed by mating. The eggs develop in many small-sized cocoons and hatch after a few weeks. Baby worms are almost transparent white in color.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for How do worms reproduce? How fast do composting worms reproduce? then why not take a look at Do you know all the animals with shells? What are shells made of? or Do you know all about flour? Learn how is maida made?

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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