Giant Gippsland Earthworm (GGE)

Megascolides australis

Gippsland is home to possibly the largest and undoubtedly the most famous of all earthworms – the Giant Gippsland Earthworm.

The average length of these giants is 1 metre, but they can be as long as 3 metres. Early settlers thought they were snakes! They have a dark purple head and a blue/grey body and about 300-400 body segments. They live in deep burrow systems and require water to respire.

They are a highly protected species but are fragile animals. The best way to protect them is to safeguard their habitat and leave them in their underground homes. This means when residential development happens in our towns it is really important that studies are done to make sure that the GGE are not going to suffer from houses, roads and permanent structures being built over their habitat.

In West Gippsland where rapid urbanization is occurring their habitat needs protection if they are to survive into the future.

The following website is dedicated to the GGE (Giant Gippsland Earthworm).

Watch the story from Sir David Attenborough and listen to the sound of the GGE moving through their burrows.