Do Worms Have Eyes?

Let’s open that can of worms and get straight to the point…worms do not have eyes, ears, or teeth!

Despite lacking what some may consider vital organs for survival worms do have some alternative sensory components that allow them to survive and thrive!

Worm Anatomy – without eyes how do they see?


Clearly this guy is not a live worm! Click on this image to check out other cool worm images courtesy of

Although worms may not have any of the typical things you would find on an animal’s head they do indeed have a head.  The head of a worm is identifiable by finding the citellum (a thicker looking band located approximately 1/3 of the way down the worm), and then looking to the shorter end from it.  Generally speaking, worms also prefer to travel forward and extend their head end first when crawling; you can also use that as an indicator of which end the head is at.  Not only do they have a head but a mouth as well – toothless, but still entirely functional for their purposes.

Worms don’t see the same way many other animals do, but they can still navigate quite efficiently. These fascinating little creatures are fully equipped with light and touch sensitive receptor cells that allow them to tell the difference between light and dark.  The ability to detect light vs dark is crucial for worms as they can become paralyzed and die if exposed to too much light for too long! This is why they tend to move away from light and  spend most of their day underground; coming out when it is darker.

The receptor cells also allow worms to feel vibrations caused by rain – worms love moist conditions!  As a creature that breathes through its skin a moist environment is crucial for keeping the worm from drying out.  Living in a moist environment is fairly typical of their phylum classifications – the Annelida, which also contains leeches.

What’s their purpose?

Worms can serve many purposes on earth but appear to exist mainly to clean up waste and provide a food source for other creatures.  They are absolutely fabulous composters that spend a lot of time cleaning up debris and organic waste by turning it into a fertilizer.  Additionally, they tunnel through the ground allowing air to get in.

If you’re interested in learning more about these cool little critters check out the links below… or get your own worm farm started today!

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Recommended sources for further reading……



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3 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    This is an interesting article and very informative too. I enjoyed the read. “Do worms have eyes?” is not a question anyone would ask any other day but it is good to know the answer. Now, I can ask my two kids the same question and I will not take a simple yes or no for an answer. This will be fun!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Barb says:

    Thank you so much for this delightful and informative article on whether worms have eyes or not.

    I never really thought about it before to tell you the truth. It’s fascinating to find out that this simple little creature has so many natural abilities. I do know that they are excellent composters and you can actually buy kits including the worms.

    I’m wondering though. If worms like water and don’t like light, why are there so may worms on the pavement after a rain storm?

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