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General data Thematic references Distribution references
Lumbricus rubellus   (Hoffmeister, 1843)
Family: Lumbricidae     Genus: Lumbricus
Emenda: Michaelsen, 1900 – Stephenson, 1923 – Reynolds, 1977 – Blakemore, 2002
Synonyms: Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister, 1843: 187; Plisko, 1963: 438; Zicsi and Csuzdi, 1986: 120; Misirlioglu and Szederjesi, 2015: 100; Stojanovic et al., 2012: 9; Valchovski, 2014: 5.
Lumbricus campestris Hutton, 1877: 351.
Allolobophora herculeana Bretscher, 1899: 419.
Allolobophora ribaucourti Bretscher, 1901: 220.
Allolobophora relictus Southern, 1909: 169.
... more synonyms
Short description
External characteristics
Length: 25-150 mm. Ruddy brown-red to violet, irridescent dorsally. Body cylindrical, posterior segments often dorso-ventrally flattened. Tanylobous prostomium. Male pore in cleft on 15, tumescence often lacking, never extending beyond margin of segment. Clitellum in (26) 27-32 (33). Tubercula pubertatis in 28-31, may extend on to 32. Setae a and b in genital tumescences, occasionally on 10. Typhlosole begins in region of 21-22 and ends in region of 78-98, usually leaving 20-26 atyphlosolate segments. Ventral surface with transverse ridges forming a honeycomb pattern.
Internal characteristics
First septum in 4/5. Non moniliforme hearts in 7-11. Nephridia tubular. Excretory system holonephridial, nephridial bladders tubular shaped. Calciferous glands in 10-14 with bilobed diverticula in 10, 11, 12. Crop in 15-16. Gizzard in 16-17 (18). Typhlosole beginning gradually in 20. Seminal vesicles in 9, 11, 12 and smaller in 9, 11 than in 12. Spermathecae simple, intra-coelomic, in 9 and 10. Ovisacs present.
Geographical origin: Originating from the palearctic zone, this species is today widely distributed in Europe and Russia, except in the arctic area. It has been introduced in North America where it is found East of the Rocky mountains. In the Southern hemisphere, it has been introduced in many temperate areas, such as Eastern Australia, New Zealand and Southern Patagonia.
Distribution status: Invasive
Present in: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Madeira, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saint Helena Island, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Tristão da Cunha Islands, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States,
► See also distribution references
Ecological category: Epigeic, Epiendogeic
Climatic zone: Boreal, Temperate, Mediterranean
Habitat: Forests, Meadows, Croplands, Polluted areas
Micro-habitat: Soil, Caves

Habitat: Species inhabiting soils rich in organic matter, and mainly found in the litter and within the first centimeters below the soil surface. Can be found in croplands, natural or planted forests, pastures and gardens. common in coniferous forests (Addison, 2009). In pastures, commonly associated with dungs. Often found in caves (Reeves and Reynolds, 1999; Novak, 2005;...).
Life history traits: Species often found in plant roots, suggesting that this species actively feeds in the rhizosphere (Hale et al., 2008). It burrows and produces casts in the upper mineral soil layer (Hale et al., 2008). Relatively frost (Tiunov et al., 2006) and low pH tolerant (pH 3.0 to 7.7) (Wironen and Moore, 2006). Sexual reproduction (Hendrix and Bohlen, 2002). As invasive species, its first impacts tend to be physical disruption of the stratified humus layers, thus preparing later settlement of alien endogeic species (James & Hendrix, 2004 in Addison, 2009).
Parasitism: Numerous sporozoans can parasite L. rubellus, such as species belonging to the genus Monocystis (Sporozoa, Gregarinida) (Purrini and Pižl, 1982).
Vermiculture: Lumbricus rubellus is an important commercial fishing bait species (Addison, 2009; Keller et al., 2007). It is also known for its capacity to breakdown the organic wastes. However, further research into its potential in vermicomposting is needed due to its relatively slow reproduction rate (Edwards and Arancon, 2004).
Research model: During the 2000s, L. rubellus became a major model among earthworms in ecotoxicology and molecular biology (Stürzenbaum et al., 1998; Morgan et al., 2004; Owen et al., 2008; Guo et al., 2009).

General data Thematic references Distribution references