Letter | Published:

Worm-eating Larva

Nature volume 30, page 146 | Download Citation



THE following note, which I received from the Rev. Robt. Dunn of Cricklade, may be worth publishing in reference to Prof. McKenny Hughes's “Notes on Earthworms.” Mr. Dunn says: “This afternoon (May 6) on a gravel path I saw a worm wriggling in an unusual way, and stooping down I saw that a big earthworm had a smaller worm hanging on at the belt or knob, or whatever you call it; so I got a bit of stick and pushed off the parasite and found it no worm, but I should say a sort of centipede, with a very red head, about one inch long. So I captured him and put him in methylated spirit, when he vomited what I presume was worm's blood.” He further adds that what the beast vomited was a stream of crimson fluid; it separated at once into white flocculent matter with brick-red specks, but since it has all turned into a white sediment. Mr. Dunn sent me the animal, which proves to be the larva of a beetle, either one of the Staphylinidæ or Geodephaga.1

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  1. Southampton

    • W. E. DARWIN


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