The first of these fast-moving worms is almost like a caterpiller in that it appears to have feet (if you look closely at the photo); however the second most definitely does not and is therefore more worm-like.

Both of these creatures like damp conditions (I actually found the long, really thin, one in a puddle outside of the back door at the bottom of the garden after heavy rain), and hate being videod and photographed on tissue paper.

The shorter, more caterpillar-like one, also has a slightly flattened and very shiny black torso, whereas that of the longer worm was more of a matt colouration with a round wire-thin body.

The first (and considerably shorter worm - if that is what it is) can often be found munching on earthworms and in burrowed-out craters of wild strawberries, but I am uncertain as whether it kills the earthworms, germinates inside of them, or what. The second I have only ever found one of (that in the photograph).

Long Thin Annelid Video

Short Caterpillar-Like Worm

Long Wire-Thin Worm

  • The long one is not an Annelid (earthworm), but rather a Nematode (roundworm). Could be a soil helminth, not sure which species. Be careful, they can be parasitic. – benn Oct 15 '19 at 12:18
  • The first photo might be of a leech! – benn Oct 15 '19 at 13:54
  • Thanks for both suggestions, - I wondered about the slightly flattened one being a leech, but I have no intention of testing to find out, or handling the other for that matter. – idvpPtk9G7Y2Tei6 Oct 16 '19 at 4:59
  • I have now studied a few photographs of leeches and doubt that the shorter creature is a leech: all the leeches I have looked at seem to have distinctive tadpole-like bodies - none with uniform body shape. – idvpPtk9G7Y2Tei6 Oct 16 '19 at 5:18

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