Lumbricus terrestris L. (Lumbricidae)
- Palaearctic Origin
- 90-300 mm x 6-10 mm
- Dark anterior; pale, flattenable posterior
- Anecic habit
- Detrivorous: Leaf litter taken below ground, little soil consumed
- No dormancy
- Permanent burrows are up to 2.5 m deep
- Lives 862-887 days or up to 6 years
- Matures in 350 days
- Obligate sexual reproduction
- 38 cocoons per year per worm
- Colonies spread about 3-5 m per year
Nightcrawler (Lumbricus terrestris) is an anecic earthworm that constructs burrows up to 2.5 m (ca 8 feet) deep. Photograph by Jack Kelly Clark.
Middens of nightcrawler (Lumbricus terrestris) in an organic walnut orchard. Middens are turret-like structures of mud and vegetational litter, and sit atop burrows that can be as deep as 2.5 m (ca 8 feet). Photo by Robert L. Bugg.
Middens of nightcrawler (Lumbricus terrestris) in a citrus orchard. Photo by Robert L. Bugg.
As observed in San Joaquin and Solano counties, densely shaded sprinkler- or flood-irrigated walnut orchards appear especially conducive to the establishment and spread of nightcrawler (Lumbricus terrestris). Photo by Robert L. Bugg.