Photographing Earthworm Specimens

Two whole earthworms

Earthworm ID can be tricky. Many species show variability when it comes to their ID features, and this can make it difficult for recorders as they struggle to match their specimen with the image presented to them in their ID key. The tubercula pubertatis (TP) of one Lumbricus rubellus may look the same as the other examples of this species from the same site but appear different on specimens of the same species from a different site.

Author

Keiron Brown

Earthworm ID course - AIDGAP key launch

ID course participants examine worms
I vividly remember as a child picking up earthworms, marveling at woodlice and exploring the dirt! I was always fascinated by the miniscule creatures in my garden. It is therefore no surprise to me as an adult I champion earthworms and other ‘small things that run the world’. I love invertebrates and personally feel humans take the presence of ‘bugs’ or ‘creepy crawlies’ as they burrow, crawl, buzz, fly, raft and swim for granted. Invertebrates make up 97% of all life on Earth and to me insects, crustaceans and other marine creatures are just as beautiful and should command our respect.

Author

Anthony Roach

Digging into the world of earthworm research

Dr Frank Ashwood
The UK has a strong history of earthworm research, with Charles Darwin leading the charge back in the late nineteenth century. Darwin’s last scientific book was all about earthworms and detailed a lifetime of earthworm research, including playing them piano music! Things have come some way since then, and the humble earthworm is now globally recognised as an “ecosystem engineer”...

Author

Frank Ashwood