News‎ > ‎


November 2016
Worms have been in the news this week. 
First we hear they are being attacked by a 'flatworm' Calamity! they're killing our beloved earthworms.  So the Mail can scream "Killer Obama worm threat to our native species' . How did it get the name 'Obama'? When I did entomological taxonomy I remember being told all sorts of naming tricks, that the early taxonomists got up to. But I cant see how anybody could have moved the name 'Obama' in , just for the occasion. 

The Press are using this example of proving - scientifically, that we need to 'control our borders'. Yet when you think the country is being overrun by an an American ex President invader (although it comes form Brazil),  the fear is turned on again. 
Yet it turns out, not to be millions, but ONE has been found in a Garden Centre. Now I agree that we should have much better control over plants and animals coming in and out. When I travelled round the Pacific we were frisked for any food, seeds plants. Like them, we are an Island nation,  and have just become more so. 
But this is clearly more than that. Those nasty flatworms make the case for pushing off to being an Island in the middle of the Atlantic.

A large worm, called Dave
A massive worm appeared in Cheshire.
The 40cm (15.7in) annelid, weighing 26g, was the size of a small snake and the largest earthworm found in the UK. Paul Rees from Widnes spotted the monster Lumbricus terrestris in his vegetable patch. His stepson George named it Dave. Why is this not a good name for a worm?
L. terrestris is an anecic worm. That is, it forms temporary deep burrows and comes to the surface to feed, as opposed to burrowing through the soil for its food as most other earthworms do. It pulls the leaves into the mouth of its burrow, leaves them to decay a bit before eating. See Attenborough video