Brandling Worm - Eisenia fetida


Brandling Worms are smaller in size than earthworms and are banded red-brown and pink-yellow. It has a red-brown clitellum - the same colour as the body. It produces an unpleasant-smelling yellow fluid when handled.

Similar Species

Dendrobaena veneta is also striped but has a pale yellow-pink clitellum.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

A photo must show the striped body and the clitellum.


They like living in compost heaps and are also found in rotting leaves and under logs.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

These worms feed on rich decaying matter, especially in compost heaps. They feed on the surface of the soil rather than within it.

UK Status

Often abundant in suitable places but poorly recorded.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map