Graduation Requirements
Science Biological
Equipment/Materials Needed
Collection Bottle
Eye Dropper or Pipette

A large phylum that comprises the segmented worms, which include earthworms, lugworms, and leeches.

Badge Completion Requirements

Introduction to Annelids

Please review the following:

Types of Annelids

Polychaeta:  marine annelids;

Oligochaeta: marine, freshwater and terrestrial annelids including earthworms;

Hirudinea: marine, freshwater, and terrestrial leeches.

Please review the following:

Please develop and submit a presentation that demonstrates your research ability. Please provide information and images for three members of each of these classes.


Polychaetes are also known as the bristle worms. Polychaeta is a type of annelid worms, generally marine. Each body segment has a pair of fleshy protrusions called parapodia that bear many bristles, called chaetae, which are made of chitin.

Most Polucaeta are marine

9000 species of Annelids, 8000 are Polychaeta

The many names of Polychaeta: lugworms, clam worms, bristle worms, fire worms, palolo worms, sea mice, feather duster worms, etc., but all possess an array of bristles on their many leg-like parapodia -- the name polychaete, in fact, means "many bristles". 




Please review the following material:



Explain parapodia and their function

Who was Kristian Fauchald and what was his contribution to science?

Discuss the environmental habitat for Pompeii worms

Explain Stolonization

Investigate the Bobbit Worms

Explain commensalism

Investigate two free-living and two sedimentary Polychaeta


Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of Polychaeta. Please include the above prompts in your presentation.  


Members of the class Oligochaeta range in length from about 1⁄32 in. to 10 ft (0.5 mm–3 m), but most are comparable to the polychaetes in size. Oligochaetes occur in a variety of habitats throughout the world. Most are burrowers in the soil, but the class also includes worms that inhabit wells, marshes, and swamps. Other species live under rocks on the seashore, in the leaves of tropical trees and vines, on the surface of glaciers, or on the gills of freshwater crayfish.

Please review the following material:


Please review the following video:

The largest earthworms:

Earthworm Anatomy


Earthworms Investigation


Discuss the anatomy of an earthworm

Observation of the class Oligochaeta; by collect 4 different species of the class please document the location of the sample and the species found

Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of Oligochaeta. Please include the above prompts in your presentation.


The Hirudinea, or true leeches, are highly specialized from other annelid groups by the presence of an anterior sucker and a posterior ventral sucker. Leeches are characterized by 33 or 34 segments, no chaetae, totally reduced parapodia. Hirudinea are hermaphroditic. Each somite or primitive segment is superficially divided into usually 3–5, but sometimes more than 10, annuli. 

Although leeches primarily are restricted to freshwater, several species occur in marine, and terrestrial environments. Leeches are found on all continents. They reproduce by eggs deposited in cocoons. Leeches don't have a  larval stage. Many leeches are blood-sucking on vertebrates or invertebrates;  others are predators, and rarely scavengers.

Please review the following:

Not all leeches are aquatic in nature, some are terrestrial (land-dwelling). 

Please review the following:

Anatomy of the Leech



Explain somites

Discuss how leeches locate prey

Discuss how leeches are used in modern day healthcare

Are leeches native to Kansas?


Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of Hirudinea. Please include the above prompts in your presentation.