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GenusLumbricus (1)The common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) is an abundant species, which has an important role in the aeration and fertilisation of soil (3). Earthworm biologyThe importance of earthworms in the aeration and fertilisation of the soil is well known.
All earthworms are hermaphrodites, meaning that a single individual possesses both male and female reproductive organs, but self-fertilisation does not occur. Earthworms have been used for bait by anglers, and are an important food source for many species of mammals and birds.
Earthworm habitatThis wholly terrestrial species lives in pastures and forests, and shows a marked preference for clay soils (2).
Unlike Darwin, we mightn’t have 39 years to spare but a few minutes reading time will quickly fill you in on some interesting facts about earthworms. It is the largest British earthworm (4) and has a reddish-brown back, a yellowish underside and an often prominent orange-red 'saddle' region known as the 'clitellum', close to the reproductive organs. They bring organic matter down into their burrows from the surface, and the familiar 'worm casts' consist of soil excreted by earthworms (3).
Invertebrates make up 97% of species on earth without backbones and Earthworms are just one of them.

There are around 3,000 species of earthworms around the globe that range in size and colour from 1cm to 3m and from green to brown, blue to pink. The burrows that earthworms create act as ducts that water and oxygen can pass through, helping to keep soil moist and aerated, vital for good plant growth allowing roots to grow and develop. Earthworms are hermaphroditic (they have both male and female reproductive organs) but they need to mate with other worms to produce offspring. Charles Darwin estimated that the population of earthworms moved 100 tonnes of soil per hectare in a year (4). If there’s too much rain, earthworms will rise to the surface to breathe as they may become starved of oxygen in water drenched soil. Oxygen is taken in across the surface of the body, and the skin has to be kept moist to facilitate this process; earthworms only venture to the surface after rain or at night for this reason (3). Earthworms are some of those invertebrates that do not have skeleton but it has fluid-filled chambers that operate just like a hydro-skeleton. These chambers ensure the proper balance of its structure.The largest members of the family Oligochaeta is commonly referred to as earthworms. Earthworms, on the basis of their size, are classified into different species such as the larger animals are called megadriles while the smaller ones are known as microdriles.

The megadriles, as compared to the microdriles, have more diverse clitellum.Interesting Earthworm Facts For KidsThe length of an adult earthworm ranges from 10 mm to 3m.
Earthworms have 2 – 4 seminal vesicles pairs that generate and discharge the sperm through the male pores. However, some species that are often lives in garden varieties survive no longer than couple of years.Where Do Earthworms LiveThe earthworms are basically ground-dwelling animals and they are mostly found underground. However, not all species reside in soil; earthworms habitat depends upon the type of species. There are some that are regarded as aquatic, some littoral, and some arboreal.The population of earthworms is entirely depends on the physical as well as chemical properties of the soil.

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