How to identify: the Lob worm (aka common earthworm)

Lob wormBritain's largest earthworm, also known as the common earthworm.

Scientific name
Lumbricus terrestris

Very common and widespread. Can reach populations of 20 to 40 worms per square metre in an average garden lawn

Live in deep vertical burrows, which can be up to 3m deep. They can anchor themselves by broadening their tail to grip the sides of the burrow.

Emerge at night to feed on fallen leaves and other decaying plant material

Typical adult size about 12cm in length when not moving


  • Long but very stout, often as thick as a pencil
  • Upper surface of body, from first segment to saddle, is dark in colour
  • Male pores are raised and conspicuous (see earthworm key for image)
  • Sometimes flattens its tail into a wide paddle shape (see earthworm key for image)