Aquatic worms (Phylum Annelida and others)

Key features:
- no legs
- may be smooth or bristly
- may be round or flat
- size range:  1/4" - 5"

Many aquatic worms look similar to earthworms. In streams, you may also find very long, slender worms (such as horsehair worms), or flatworms, like planaria, which are small, sticky and soft-bodied (contrast with the muscular leech--see below). Many of these can slip through the seine quite easily, so watch closely. If you locate a worm and it is not a midge larva, crane fly larva, leech, or black fly larva, (see descriptions below and on previous page) it should be recorded under the category of "aquatic worms." These worms will typically "wriggle" in a snake-like fashion. Colors vary greatly in this category (red, white, brown are common). Note: Worms do not have legs. If it looks like a worm, but has six legs (they may be small) it is not an aquatic worm -- check the other descriptions to correctly identify the organism.