Get to know earthworms – our guide to common British species

Familiarise yourself with the common British earthworm species using the gallery below.

Select an earthworm image to see a summary of their characteristics, what they eat and where they live.

Identify earthworms
The most reliable way to identify earthworms you find during your survey is to use our keys:

Soil and earthworm field guide (PDF, 949KB)

Grassland earthworm key (PDF, 805KB)


Compost worm Brandling worm Green worm (green morph)
Redhead worm Black-headed worm Lob worm
Octagonal-tailed worm Chestnut worm Little tree worm
Rosy-tipped worm Grey worm Blue-grey worm
Green worm (pale morph) Less common earthworms Immature earthworms


 Images courtesy of Harry Taylor © Natural History Museum