Nematoda (Eelworms / Roundworms)
These small unsegmented worms are very common in soil, water, silt and organic debris of caves, most of them are free-living. They are best seen under a microscope due to their small size. There are many species and identification is difficult - so there are certainly many new species to be found to add to cave species lists. Some are to be found deep in caves.
Nematomorpha (Horsehair worms)
The Nematomorpha have long brown coloured bodies and appear like living pieces of horsehair, hence the name. They are common in surface rivers and streams but have rarely been recorded underground. The different species are difficult to identify. Rhabditus strongyloides has been recorded from Baker’s Pit.
Annelida (Segmented worms)
These segmented worms (e.g. earthworm) are often abundant in caves, groundwaters and sediments living in soil. They ingest (‘eat’) mud and extract nutrients from it. All those found in caves also live in surface soils and waters. Most of the time they will be hidden in soil and therefore hidden from view, so their importance underground could be underestimated.
||Small segmented worms in pool, probably Tubifex sp., Bunkers Hole
||Segmented worm in small stream