Getting Down and Dirty with Lumbricus terrestris

Lumbricus terrestris


Welcome to the webpage all about earthworms! There is an array of information ranging from the taxonomy to the reproductive life of this unique organism. How well do you know the earthworm? Find out some introductory knowledge below and continue your way down to the bottom of the page where your journey begins as you travel through the burrows of information.


Lubricus terrestris, commonly known as the earthworm, is a large reddish worm species that is native to Europe (Encyclopedia of Life 2013). Due to human introduction, it is also widely distributed to many other parts of the world (as shown in the figure below) in which it is mainly known as an invasive species because of its characteristic to outcompete with native worms (Animal Diversity Web 2013). Not only is this species a favorite for dissections involved in school biology classes, but as you may already know, this worm is commonly used as bait by fishermen.

This type of earthworm is also one of the more visible, as it has an unusual habit of fully surfacing (Encyclopedia of Life 2013). For more information about why L. terrestris surfaces as much as it does, click here to be linked to a website made by National Geographic. It is not the most abundant earthworm, even in its native range, but because of its visibility, it is the most familiarly known earthworm around (Encyclopedia of Life 2013). Throughout most of Europe, it is also the largest species of worm, commonly reaching lengths of around twenty to twenty-five centimeters (Encyclopedia of Life 2013). However, in September 2012, there was a specimen that measured nearly fifty centimeters found in Southwest China, which is pictured above on the right (Encyclopedia of Life 2013). There is an article about this rare occurance found here.

If you wish to learn more "introductory" information, especially more about L. terrestris being one of many invasive species, click here to link to Global Invasive Species Database.


Ever wonder where the word L. terrestris came from? Learn about it on the Classification page!

Check out where we gathered our information from on our Reference page



To learn about other organisms, head on over to the Multiple Organisms page!

There are a lot of interesting facts you can learn right here on our page, but if you have any further questions you're "digging" to know about, feel free to contact either McKenna Jacobs at or Nicole Lang at This page was created for Organismal Biology - 203 at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.

This site was last updated in December of 2013.