'Worms' is not really a taxonomic term but is popularly used to describe many elongate, legless invertebrates. Here we have grouped together two quite different Phyla: Annelida  (segmented worms including earthworms and leeches) and Platyhelminthes (flatworms), which are not at all closely related but both are 'worm-like' in appearance.

As with all invertebrates, worms play a vital part in the ecosystem, mainly as detrivores, eating dead and decaying vegetation, and thus recycling nutrients into the food chain.

Leicestershire and Rutland Resources

None that we know of.

Useful Websites and Publications


Earthworm Society Identification - you should visit this page if you are interested in recording earthworms.

Online key to earthworms - this multi-access key was developed by the FSC and is approved by the Earthworm Society.


Key to the Earthworms of the UK and Ireland - an AIDGAP publication from the FSC.

If you know of other websites or books that you would recommend, do let us know: info@naturespot.co.uk

Recording Schemes

As with all records, any submissions you make to NatureSpot will be automatically forwarded to both local and national recording schemes.

Visit our County Recorders page to find out who is the CR in VC55 (Leicestershire and Rutland).


The Earthworm Society will only accept records of earthworms that have been identified using an approved key. They do not approve of the OPAL earthworm key as this only includes around half the UK earthworm species and uses photographs for identification which isn't a reliable method. Use one of the keys referred to above.