Giant Gippsland earthworm

The Giant Gippsland earthworm was discovered in the 1870’s near Warragul, Victoria. Originally thought to be another snake. Professor Frederick McCoy the director of the National Museum of Victoria gave it the scientific name Megascolide australis and categorised it an earthworm.

things-to-do-in-lochThe Giant Gippsland earthworm is located:

The Giant Gippsland earthworm prefers depths of 1m – 1.15m in the ground, it is sometimes brought to the surface by heavy rains. It enjoys a specific area contained in 100,000 hectares, in between Warragul, Korumburra, and Loch. This is between the Baw Baw Shire and South Gippsland Shires. It’s a small part of Gippsland these creatures live in.

 

 

A map of the Giant Gippsland Earthworm’s subterranean home

In Loch underpass for the rail, on wet days you can hear the gurgling sound made by nearby earthworms.

A protected species

The Giant Gippsland earthworm is currently endangered, much of this has to do with changes of the landscape, instead of wet rain forest this location is now pasture land. Where the roots of the trees used to churn up the land more making a great habitat 1m – 1.15m adding more nutrients under the ground. The drainage is also affecting the earthworms home.

The skin of the earthworm is very fragile, and they’re currently endangered so please only watch them if you see them, don’t touch them.



Features of a Giant Gippsland Earthworm:

The earthworms can grow up to 3m long, however, they average 80cm. Length isn’t a good indicator of the age of a giant earthworm, their weight is a better indicator, 200 grams. It takes them several years to reach an age they can start their own families. Babies hatch from a red womb like egg after a year at 20cm long already. The time frames from birth to maturation are also affecting the earthworms ability to remove itself from the endangered species list.

Its a fascinating creature, that has inspired local artists and there used to be Giant Gippsland parade in Korumburra.

For more information about the Giant Gippsland Earthworm:

The Museum of Victoria information sheet