Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Collection and rearing of earthworms

By Kevin Richard Butt


Earthworm experimentation requires a source of supply. This may come from field-collection, purchase from a supplier,\ud or from breeding of stock. The mode of obtaining the animals may be determined by the type of experimentation, but must not compromise the experiment. Typical\ud collection methods employ digging and hand-sorting of soil, addition of a vermifuge, application of an electrical\ud current to the soil or combinations thereof. Each collection method has advantages and may target particular groups of earthworms more successfully than others.\ud Rearing earthworms in the laboratory may be viewed as difficult but if control of factors such as soil type, moisture, temperature, food supply and stocking\ud density are in place, it can be straightforward. Culture design will be determined by the experimental objectives

OAI identifier:
Provided by: CLoK

Suggested articles


  1. (2002). A test of the “hot” mustard method for sampling earthworms.
  2. (2007). A viable technique for tagging earthworms with visible implant elastomer.
  3. (2003). Allyl isothiocyanate: an alternative chemical expellant for sampling earthworms. doi
  4. (2001). Appraisal of the electrical octet method for estimating earthworm populations in arable land. doi
  5. (2005). Culture techniques for soil dwelling earthworms: A review.
  6. (2009). Earthworm collection from agricultural fields: Comparisons of selected expellants in presence /absence of hand-sorting.
  7. (2007). Earthworm expulsion by formalin has severe and lasting side effects on soil biota and plants.
  8. (2008). Earthworms as drivers of the competition between grasses and legumes.
  9. (2002). Soil Quality: Sampling of Soil Invertebrates. Part 1: Hand-Sorting and Formalin Extraction of Earthworms.
  10. (1994). The life cycle of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris L. (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) in culture.
  11. (1997). The mating behaviour of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris L. (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae).
  12. (1992). The use of mustard to estimate earthworm populations,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.