The Common Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) is a terrestrial (land) invertebrate (without a backbone) in the Lumbricidae family of earthworms. It is also known as the Lob Worm.
The Common Earthworm is pinkish-greyish-purple. The body is cylindrical and a tube-in-a-tube, with a series of segments, called metamerisms. The last segment is the tail, and the first segment has the mouth and prostomium (flat paddle-shaped lobe). Each segment has bristle-like hairs called lateral setae. These hairs help it to move by gripping the surface of the soil. It has pores (holes) in its body that enables it to breathe. It exudes a fluid that keeps the body moist and stops it from drying out.
It grows up to 20-35 centimetres (8-14 inches) long.
It is native to western Europe. It can be seen all year round. It prefers moist soil and garden lawns. It lives in deep vertical burrows in the soil. It comes to the surface at night to feed on leaf litter and other decaying plant matter – it is a detritivore (detritus feeder). It is therefore nocturnal, active at night.
It lives in populations of 20-40 individuals.
It also appears on the surface of the soil in wet weather when it breeds.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM