Southern Worm

Aporrectodea trapezoides (Dugés) (Lumbricidae)


  • One of a complex of closely related species including A. tuberculata and A. turgida (often referred to collectively as A. caliginosa)
  • Color variable, from slate gray to pink, flattenable posterior
  • 80-137 mm x 3-7 mm contracted, 220 x 3-5 mm relaxed
  • Parthenogenetic reproduction
  • Dormancy spent rolled in a ball in an oval chamber
  • Palaearctic origin
  • Found in heavy or sandy soil
  • Endogeic habit, and mainly geophagous, but some individuals forage on surface detritus; casting at soil surface
  • A common earthworm in Central Valley orchards
  • Tolerates immersion in water: persists in tailwater ponds that are flooded twice per week during summer
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Southern worm (Aporrectodea trapezoides) feeds on soil and detritus, and is often abundant in both orchards and field crops that receive abundant inputs of organic matter. Photographs by Suzanne Paisley (left) and Robert L. Bugg (right).