Red Marsh Worm, Red Wriggler

Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister, 1843 (Lumbricidae)


  • 60-150 x 4-6 mm
  • Dorsum is red-brown or red-violet and iridescent
  • Ventral surface is pale
  • Epigeic habit; mating and casting below ground, commonly burrows into mineral soil
  • Obligate sexual reproduction
  • Mature in 179 days; longevity 682-719 days
  • 79-106 cocoons per year per worm
  • Diapause spent in a ball 0.45 m deep in soil
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Red wriggler or red marsh worm (Lumbricus rubellus) is an epigeic detritivorous earthworm that is common in apple orchards with permanent cover crops. Photographs by Suzanne Paisley.