/lug"werrm'/, n.
any burrowing annelid of the genus Arenicola, of ocean shores, having tufted gills: used as bait for fishing. Also called lug.
[1795-1805; LUG4 + WORM]

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▪ polychaete genus
      (genus Arenicola), any of several marine worms (class Polychaeta, phylum Annelida) that burrow deep into the sandy sea bottom or intertidal areas and are often quite large. Fishermen use them as bait. Adult lugworms of the coast of Europe (e.g., A. marina) attain lengths of about 23 cm (9 inches). The lugworm of the coasts of North America (A. cristata) ranges in length from 7.5 to 30 cm.

      The body is segmented, or ringed. The head end is dark red; behind it the body is fatter and lighter in colour. Toward the tail the body becomes thinner and yellowish red. The middle of the body has bristles and about 12 pairs of feathery gills.

      Lugworms feed on decayed organic matter and ingest sand along with the food particles. At low tide their coiled casts (masses of excrement) may often be seen piled above their burrows. Their burrows may extend as deep as 60 cm (2 feet). The animals are hermaphroditic; i.e., functional reproductive organs of both sexes occur in the same individual. The eggs of one individual, however, are fertilized by the sperm of another.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lugworm — ► NOUN ▪ a bristle worm living in muddy sand and leaving characteristic worm casts, used as fishing bait. ORIGIN from earlier lug lugworm , of unknown origin …   English terms dictionary

  • Lugworm — Lug worm , n. [1st lug + worm.] (Zo[ o]l.) A large marine annelid ({Arenicola marina}) having a row of tufted gills along each side of the back. It is found burrowing in sandy beaches, both in America and Europe, and is used for bait by European… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lugworm — c.1600, from lug, probably a Celtic word (the first recorded use is in a Cornwall context) unrelated to lug (n.) or lug (v.) + WORM (Cf. worm). But OED suggests connection with lug (v.) on the notion of heavy, clumsy …   Etymology dictionary

  • lugworm — [lug′wʉrm΄] n. [ LUG3 + WORM] any of a family (Arenicolidae) of polychaetous worms that burrow into sandy seashores and are used for bait …   English World dictionary

  • Lugworm — Taxobox | name = Lugworm image width = 240px image caption = Lugworm, Arenicola marina , casts on the beach at Ballyholme, Northern Ireland regnum = Animalia phylum = Annelida classis = Polychaeta ordo = Capitellida familia = Arenicolidae genus …   Wikipedia

  • lugworm — noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: 1802 any of a genus (Arenicola) of marine polychaete worms that have a row of tufted gills along each side of the back and are used for bait …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lugworm — noun A large marine worm of the phylum Annelida, whose coiled castings can often be seen on beaches at low tide. Syn: sandworm …   Wiktionary

  • lugworm — lug|worm [ˈlʌgwə:m US wə:rm] n BrE a small ↑worm that lives in sand by the sea, often used to catch fish …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • lugworm — n. marine worm with short stiff hair used as fishing bait …   English contemporary dictionary

  • lugworm — noun a bristle worm living in muddy sand and leaving characteristic worm casts, widely used as fishing bait. [Arenicola marina.] Origin C19: from earlier lug (of unknown origin) + worm …   English new terms dictionary

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