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Phylum: Annelida. “ringed”, commonly called segmented worms Examples: earthworms, marine worms, leeches. Traits. Segmented, round, wormlike bodies. Traits. Bilateral symmetry. Traits. cephalized. Traits. Ventral nerve cord. Traits.

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phylum annelida
Phylum: Annelida
  • “ringed”, commonly called segmented worms
  • Examples: earthworms, marine worms, leeches
  • Segmented, round, wormlike bodies
  • Bilateral symmetry
  • cephalized
  • Ventral nerve cord
  • Tube-in-a-tube digestive system with specialized regions
  • Closed circulatory system – blood doesn’t leave the vessels
  • Paired nephridia
  • Respire through their skin
typical invertebrates
Typical invertebrates
  • Earthworms are about halfway between the simplest and most complex invertebrates




  • “few bristles”, no parapodia
  • E.g. – earthworms, tubifex worms
benefits of earthworms
Benefits of Earthworms
  • improves aeration
  • increases water and nutrient movement through the soil 
  • Castings are rich in nutrients

Charles Darwin went so far as to say of earthworms, “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” He believed that earthworms are wholly responsible for the top layer of rich soil on the Earth

giant gippsland earthworm in australia
Giant Gippsland Earthworm in Australia

Up to 15 feet stretched out!

worm farming
Worm Farming
  • Used for compost
  • Sold for fishing bait
  • “many bristles”, have parapodia, largest class of annelids
  • E.g. – marine worms, tube worms
  • mainly used in respiration

Venomous Setae

If touched, the setae will detach and lodge in the skin causing burning, itching, and numbness from the toxins they contain





  • No bristles or parapodia, have suckers
  • E.g. – leeches (blood suckers)
leech removal
Leech Removal?
  • use your fingernail or something flat to break the seal of their suckers

Irritating them can cause them to regurgitate their stomach contents in the wound, risking infection or disease

medicinal uses
Medicinal uses
  • Past – to suck out evil blood, to remove bruises
medicinal uses1
Medicinal uses
  • Present – reattachment surgery, blood thinner

Leech saliva contains compounds that reduce pain, prevent clotting and dilate blood vessels. This prevents the tissue from dying off and allows the body to reestablish good blood flow to the reattached part.


Summary: A 45-year-old, white male patient who suffered a complete avulsion of the upper two-thirds of his right ear. The ear was reattached by doing a microvascularanastomosis of a small artery anteriorly. No veins were available for anastomosis. Soon after anastomosis, there was obvious venous congestion. Medicinal leeches were used for treating venous congestion

48 Hours:3 leeches have been applied every 8 hours. Following the initial application, obvious improvement was noted

  • 24 Hours:Photograph shows severe venous congestion in the reimplanted ear following complete avulsion.
  • 6 Days:The entire reimplanted ear was viable and healing well.
  • 72 Hours:3 leeches have been applied every 8 hours for periods of 15 to 30 minutes. Marked improvement in color with decreased swelling and congestion was noted.
  • Two Months:Complete survival of re-attached ear
also testing to be able to
Also testing to be able to…
  •  treat arthritis, blood clotting disorders, and varicose veins.
demi moore leech therapy
Demi Moore Leech Therapy?

earthworm structure1
Earthworm structure
  • Prostomuim – 1st segment, before mouth, contains lots of sensory nerves
earthworm structure2
Earthworm structure
  • Clitellum – thick band around the worm, involved in reproduction
earthworm structure3
Earthworm structure
  • Setae – little bristles that give the worm traction for movement
earthworm structure4
Earthworm structure
  • Mouth – entrance to the digestive system
earthworm structure5
Earthworm structure
  • Pharynx – (throat) sucks in food
earthworm structure6
Earthworm structure
  • Esophagus – carries food from the pharynx to the crop
earthworm structure7
Earthworm structure
  • Crop – stores food, lets worm eat a lot of food at one time and digest it later
earthworm structure8
Earthworm structure
  • Gizzard – grinds the food
earthworm structure9
Earthworm structure
  • Intestines – finishes digestion, absorbs food
earthworm structure10
Earthworm structure
  • Anus – exit of the digestive system
earthworm structure11
Earthworm structure
  • Aortic arches – 5 pairs (hearts), pump blood
earthworm structure12
Earthworm structure
  • Dorsal blood vessel – carries blood away from the hearts
earthworm structure13
Earthworm structure
  • Ventral blood vessel – carries blood back to the hearts
earthworm structure14
Earthworm structure
  • Brain – coordinates and controls the body
earthworm structure15
Earthworm structure
  • Ventral nerve cord – carries messages between the brain and the body
earthworm structure16
Earthworm structure
  • Ganglia – bundles of nerves
earthworm structure17
Earthworm structure
  • Seminal vesicles – store sperm
earthworm structure18
Earthworm structure
  • Seminal receptacles – receive sperm from other worm
earthworm structure19
Earthworm structure
  • Muscles – both longitudinal and circular – lets them lengthen and shorten their bodies
earthworm structure20
Earthworm structure
  • Cuticle – non-cellular layer that protects the skin from gritty soil
earthworm structure21
Earthworm structure
  • Nephridia – collect, concentrate, and eliminate wastes, don’t loose as much water
earthworm reproduction
Earthworm reproduction
  • hermaphrodites – exchange sperm

Night crawlers also mate on the surface. They are hermaphroditic but do not self-fertilize. Following mating, each worm forms a tiny, lemon-shaped cocoon out of a liquid secreted from its clitellum, the familiar-looking bulge seen near the first third of the earthworm’s body. The sperm and egg cells are deposited inside the cocoon, and it is buried. After a two- to four-week gestation period, the baby worms emerge.