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What Do California Blackworms Eat?

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California blackworms, or Lumbriculus variegatus, are a common worm found in North American and Europe. They reproduce by fragmentation, where the worms break apart at one of their body segments and a new worm regenerates from this segment. These invertebrates live and feed in damp areas along the edges of still bodies of water, such as lakes, ponds and marshes.

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California blackworms feed on decaying plant matter, such as rotting wood and leaves. They also feed on microorganisms, like algae, bacteria and fungi, that are found in sediments. These worms sometimes feed on plant matter in deeper waters, although they prefer feeding in shallow waters. To search for food, California blackworms use their heads to prod around in plant debris, while they release gases from the tail-end of their digestive tract.