The following is some information on earthworm reproduction system you may like to know.
Do you know that an earthworm has both male reproductive and female reproductive organs? An earthworm produces both sperms and eggs within its body and reproduces sexually.
An earthworm normally matures and able to breed and lay eggs when it is at least 2 months old. It will develope a light colour ring or white band forms nearing the head end which is normally seen as a large segment or band. This is called the “clitellum” which has both sets of reproductive organs in it and produce cocoon that protects the eggs.
Even though worms are hermaphrodites, the eggs must be fertilized by the sperms of another worm.The worms will mate and join together and their heads will face in the opposite directions. The sperm of one worm is then pass to the other worm and is stored in sacs. Fertilisation will take place after the sperm and eggs are inside a cocoon.
The eggs are tiny, even smaller than a grain of rice. The cocoon is normally yellow in colour and looks like little lemons. Each cocoon can place up to 5 worms. When the colour of the cocoon is darken, this indicates that the worms is ready to hatch but a suitable weather condition is also required to facilitate the hatch. Otherwise the cocoon will remain dormant and will only hatch when the situation improved.
Baby worms when born are whitish in colour and measures about half an inch long. But within a few days, they will change into their adult colours of brown reddish. The parents do not spend time raising their young babies once they are hatched. The babies are left on their own to survive and grow. Normally the baby worm will grow to adult size in about 6 weeks where mating and breeding cycle starts again.