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Copulation usually occurs only at night. Two copulating earthworms lie head to tail and side by side. In this way the clitellia secrete a mucus tube that surrounds the worm from before the reproductive segment to the clitellia segments.
Sperms received from a partner worm is stored in the spermathecal openings and then the two worms separate. Both secret a new mucus tube that is enriched with album from the clitellum and wrapped in a membrane.
The eggs are shed into this tube along with some sperm. The worm then backs out of the tube which now becomes the egg cocoon. Fertilization occurs inside the cocoon. The cocoon is left there, underground to attach to some leaves. It often changes shape. Becoming darker small and harder, the fertilised egg grows into a tiny earthworm.
EVALUATION (POST THE QUESTION TITLE AND YOUR ANSWER IN THE QUESTION BOX BELOW FOR EVALUATION AND DISCUSSION)
- Define haemaphrodite.
- Describe asexual reproduction in earthworm.