Vermivore (from Latin vermi, meaning "worm" and vorare, "to devour") is a zoological term for animals that eat worms (including annelids, nematodes, and other worm-like animals).[1] Animals with such a diet are known to be vermivorous.[2] Some definitions are less exclusive with respect to the diet, but limit the definition to particular animals, e.g. "Feeding on worms or insect vermin. Used of a bird."[3]

An entire genus of New World warblers has been given the name Vermivora.

One vermivore that may feed exclusively on worms is Paucidentomys vermidax, a rodent species of a type commonly known as shrew rats which was discovered in 2011 in Indonesia. The name, which can be translated as "worm-eating, few-toothed mouse", refers to the fact that they have only four teeth and may live exclusively on a diet of earthworms.[4] This reduced dentition in vermivorous mammals is said to be due to relaxed selectional pressure on dental occlusion.



See also


  1. "Animal Diversity Web". Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  2. Croker, Temple H. (1766). "Vermivorous". The Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. 3.
  3. "The Free Dictionary". Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  4. Esselstyn, J.A., Achmadi, A.S. Rowe, K.C. (2012). Evolutionary novelty in a rat with no molars. Biology Letters, published online 22 August 2012, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0574
  5. Charles, Cyril; Solé, Floréal; Rodrigues, Helder Gomes; Viriot, Laurent (2013-06-01). "Under Pressure? Dental Adaptations to Termitophagy and Vermivory Among Mammals". Evolution. 67 (6): 1792–1804. doi:10.1111/evo.12051. ISSN 1558-5646. PMID 23730770.
  6. "Spiny Anteaters: Licking Up Its Food". International Wildlife Encyclopedia. 18. Marshall Cavendish. 2002. p. 2488. (subscription required)
  7. Chapman, James (March 4, 2003). "Moles on the March; Mild Winters and Poison Shortage Put Lawns at Risk". Daily Mail. p. 17. (subscription required)

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