Another giant earthworm found near Kukke Subrahmanya

The second giant earthworm found in Kollamogaru village near Kukke Subrahmanya. It measured 2.6 ft in length and 3 cm in width.

The second giant earthworm found in Kollamogaru village near Kukke Subrahmanya. It measured 2.6 ft in length and 3 cm in width.  

Zoologists now to explore 20 km radius of Kollamogaru for further studies

Applied zoologists have found one more giant earthworm in Kollamogaru village near the temple town of Kukke Subrahmanya in Karnataka, prompting them to take up a more elaborate exploration of the area for further studies.

The earthworm found by Nishant Katta, an applied zoologist settled in the village, measured 2.6 ft in length and 3 cm in width, K.S. Sreepada, professor of applied zoology, Mangalore University, told The Hindu. “The creature was moving near a stream. It was not inside the soil when found,” the professor said.

Second one

It becomes the second giant earthworm reported in the Western Ghats and the coastal belt of Karnataka so far. The first one, found in the same village this January, measured 3.1 ft in length and 2 cm in width. It was found by workers in the farmland of Mr. Katta. The second one was found within a kilometre radius from the spot where the first one was found.

Both have now been preserved in the university for further studies.

Read also: Mapping world’s soil worms

Vivek Hasyagar, a research scholar in the Department of Applied Zoology working on earthworms in the university, said that in India, J.M. Julka (2008) had reported the largest earthworm — “Drawida nilamburensis”, which belongs to the Moniligastridae family. That specimen, from the Nilgiris, measured 3.2 ft in length.

Mr. Sreepada said about 20 km radius in the village will now be explored from next week to ascertain if there are more such giant earthworms in the vicinity. In addition, one of the preserved earthworms would be dissected to study its internal organs for confirmation of the scientific name of the species.

“External morphology of the second earthworm is clearly visible. Hence, it is possible to identify the scientific name. However, to study the internal organs it will be dissected,” the professor said.

Post floods and landslides

Mr. Sreepada said landslides and friction in the neighbouring Kodagu region during this and the last rainy season might have caused their displacement, making them more visible. But more studies are needed in this regard. Earthworms become inactive when there is no conducive soil condition for them to feed.

The giant earthworms begin migrating at night during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:14:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/another-giant-earthworm-found-near-kukke-subrahmanya/article30231227.ece

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