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Large-bodied Earthworm


Large-bodied earthworm. Approximately 1.5 meters in length and greater than 500 grams weight. 1st and 2nd pictures are the posterior of the worm. 3rd picture is anterior of the same worm.


I found this earthworm in extremely wet rich forest soil in the foothills of Sumaco Volcano in Ecuador. Elevation ~ 1500 MASL.


Calling all worm experts. I need help identifying this worm.

1 Species ID Suggestions

csuzdi01 9 years ago
Martiodrilus crassus (Rosa, 1895)

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60 Comments (1–25)

armadeus.4 7 years ago

Oh my...that is huge! I never knew they existed this big! Wow...!

James W
James W 7 years ago


hoppy4840 8 years ago

Hello Vivy: This particular earthworm was captured and released. The U of Iowa and Universidad Catolica (Quito) are collaborating on a study of these giant Sumaco earthworms.

VivyBeauvoir 8 years ago

The Earthworm still alive today?

The Gippsland worm averages 200 grams for about 1 metre length, although it can stretch itself out to about 3 metres and when alarmed shrink to well under a metre. In captivity some have grown to 9 feet (2.5metres) and weighed 1.5 lbs, (3.3 kg)
This one is 1.5 metres so we are looking at a weight of perhaps 500-1000 grams.
An estimate of over 500 grams would be about right for this specimen. Certainly it is unlikely to be much heavier than a 1 litre bottle of water.
Remember that mass (weight) is not just related to length but to length x girth, hence the weight rises much faster than the length increase.

HarmitSarai 9 years ago

im just thinking if it was 1.5m,and if I picked it up i wouldn't just say ,"wow this weighs more than 1lb". that's like me saying im about 34 years old, about 6f tall and an greater than 15lbs.but picking something up,i just figured a person could would know the difference if what they're holding weighs closer to 1lb than to 3,or5lbs, a 1L bottle of water is 1kg or 2.2lbs,that worm looks like it weighs more than a 2L water not saying the pic is fake, i am aware that these worms are out just upset with the evaluation you placed on the weight.

hoppy4840 9 years ago

Hello TonyMandile: I took this photograph with my Canon point & shoot camera. It is not a hoax or a Photoshop rendition. The photo has not been altered in any manner. Sorry, but you are just wrong. You are invited to contact me directly. This is the real thing.

hoppy4840 9 years ago

Hello HarmitSarai: In my "description" on Project Noah I indicated that it was "..greater than 500 grams". And, it certainly was greater than 500 grams. However, I did not have a scale with me and did not want to exaggerate the worm's weight.

HarmitSarai 9 years ago

min 500g for 1.5meters,that not that heavy.

Congratulations on the SOTW, well deserved, hoppy4840.
Thank you so much for sharing such a fantastic find.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

If I understood correctly,this is not an adult yet. Still a juvenile!! Amazing! Wonder how much bigger the adult would be! True the Clitellium is not fully developed yet!!

hoppy4840 9 years ago

Dr Csuzdi, I presume. Hello again; good to hear from you. I sent you this picture and we communicated about this critter a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, we have not found another one quite this large or of this same specie. Many smaller (~300 grams) earthworms that are dark grey/black; but none like this unique animal.

doreen.chambers.14 9 years ago

That is unbelievable! Wow is right!

TKBotting 9 years ago

ummm...... wow!

Nayeli 9 years ago

Wow i didn't know that it exist this specie :D, it is incredible!!

csuzdi01 9 years ago

In that part of Ecuador M. crassus (Rosa) is the most likely giant species. An other option is M. ischuros (Zicsi) but up to our knowledge it is missing from the Oriente. Interesting that it is not completely adult (the clitellum only begins to develop) so it cannot be properly identified.

Regards, Csaba

MartaPoludnik 9 years ago


Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago


Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 9 years ago

Congratulations, it is trully an amazing spotting. We have giant worms in Brazil, but they reach only one third the size of this one!

Glanecia 9 years ago

wow, so awesome, I didn't think it was real at first

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 9 years ago

Congrats!Great finding!

ulvalactuca77 9 years ago

That's amazing.

StephenLindsey 9 years ago

Incredible! Such a great find!

KarenL 9 years ago

Congrats hoppy4840, our Ranger Team has chosen your large-bodied earthworm as its Spotting of the Week! At 1.5 meters long and weighing in at more than 500 grams we think it really lives up to its name!


Spotted by

Napo, Ecuador

Spotted on Sep 29, 2009
Submitted on Jun 29, 2014

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