MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: How do you tag or mark earth worms for a biology experiment?

Date: Fri Jun 22 10:41:15 2001
Posted By: Aydin Orstan, Staff, Office of Food Additive Safety, Food and Drug Administration
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 993082799.Gb

Dear Jenny,
I don't have any experience working with earthworms, so I asked someone I 
know who works with them. He had never tagged earthworms either, but 
thought of the following: mix up some carbon black and carmine both in 
sterile distilled water and inject one or the other or both in some 
pattern of dots just under the integument.  For example, black / red / 
black, black / red, red / black, red / etc.

I thought perhaps one can tie very fine color coded strings around the 
worms loose enough to prevent injury but tight enough to stay in place. 
However, when earthworms are crawling their bodies get quite stretched and 
they may slip out of even a tight string.

Look up the following book in the library. You may find something in there.

Edwards, C.A. (ed.) 1998. Earthworm Ecology.  Lewis Press.

Good luck.

Aydin Orstan

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