is a cosmopolitan genus
of tubificid Annelids
that inhabit the sediments of lakes
and occasionally sewer lines. There are over ten known species of Tubifex
, but the number is not certain, as the species are not easily distinguishable from each other.
Food and feeding
worms feed on decaying organic matter, detritus, vegetable matter which commonly available in segment drains.
worms are hermaphroditic
: each individual has both male (testes) and female (ovaries) organs in the same animals. These minute reproductive organs attached to the ventral side of the body wall in the celomic cavity. In mature specimens, the reproductive organs are clearly found on the ventral side of the body.
Copulation and cocoon formation
Although the Tubifex
worms are hermaphrodites
, the male and female organs become mature at different times; thus self-fertilization
is avoided, and cross fertilization is encouraged. Two mature Tubifex
worms undergo copulation by joining their ventral and anterior surfaces together with their anterior ends pointing opposite directions. Thus the spermathecal openings of each Tubifex
worm be nearer to the male apertures
of another worm. The penial setae
of one Tubifex
worm penetrate into the tissues of other worm and thus the conjugants
are held together. At this stage the sperms of one worm are passed into the spermathecae
of the other worm.After copulation the Tubifex
worm separate and begin... Read More