Earthworm guide

Get to know your earthworms

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

 

 

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