Department of Art & Art History

Common Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris)


Artist: Rhys Pritchett

The earthworm or the night crawler, was first native to Europe but is now all over North America and Western Asia in large quantities. Earthworms are found everywhere, except in freezing regions and deserts. There are about 6,000 species all over the globe.

Ecological Importance:

  • Vital to soil health: Earthworms transport nutrients and minerals from underground to the surface, mixing and aggregating soil. Eating dead leaves and roots they breakdown organic matter, turning it into humu soil.
    1. The worms also dig tiny holes which allow aeration of the soil and improve water-holding capacity.
  • Source of Food: Worms feed birds, rats, toads
  • Human food: Worms are used in residential composting as well as bait for fishing. 

Fun Facts:

  • The common life space for an earthworm is 6 years.
  • The worm can grow up to 14 inches in size.
  • Earthworm’s bodies are made up of segments, called annuli, which is how they move and burrow.
  • Capable of digging down as far as 6.5 feet.
  • Worms are hermaphroditic but not self fertilizing.
  • Earthworms breathe through their skin, due to their lack of lungs

This router is located on the North wall of the Meriam Library.