Common Earthworm - Lumbricus terrestris

Alternative names
Lob Worm

The Lob Worm is Britain's largest earthworm. The biggest individuals can be up to 35 cm in length when moving. Their colour is brownish to purplish red above, yellow-orange below, with one end a flat paddle shape.

Identification difficulty

They prefer undisturbed soil and are common in lawns.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

They live in deep vertical burrows in the soil and can anchor themselves by broadening their tail to grip the sides of the burrow. Lob worms emerge at night to feed on fallen leaves and other decaying plant material. They can reach populations of 20 to 40 worms per square metre in an average garden lawn. They appear on the surface of lawns in wet weather to mate. Lying head to tail, this mating can last up to 4 hours.

UK Status

Common and widespread throughout Britain, but badly under 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