E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Allolobophora chlorotica (Savigny, 1826)
Earthworm; Green Worm
Family: Lumbricidae

Photo of species

© Earthworm Research Group University of Lancashire  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10704)

Earthworm distribution in BC
Distribution of Allolobophora chlorotica in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)


The earthworms of British Columbia are a little known faunal group. We would like to thank the Royal Ontario Museum for providing permissions to use extracts, including illustrations, from the following publication in the atlas pages: Reynolds, John W. 1977. The Earthworms (Lumbricidae and Sparganophilidae) of Ontario. Thanks also to John Reynolds for provision of substantial information on earthworms and review of the atlas pages.

Species Information

Click on the image(s) below to view an expanded illustration for this taxon.

Illustration Source: Reynolds, John W. 1977. The Earthworms (Lumbricidae and Sparganophilidae) of Ontario. Life Science Miscellaneous Publications, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.

This is an introduced European species of earthworm. Reynolds (1977) provides the following description: “Length 30-70 mm, diameter 3-5 mm, segment number 80-138, prostomium epilobic, first dorsal pore 4/5. Clitellum xxviii, xxix-xxxvii. Tubercula pubertatis small sucker-like discs on xxxi, xxxiii and xxxv. Setae closely paired, AA>BC, DD = 1/2 C anteriorly, and DD <1/2 C posteriorly. Setae c and d on x often on white genital tumescences. Males pores in xv with large elevated glandular papillae extending over xiv and xvi. Seminal vesicles, four pairs in 9-12. Spermathacae, three pairs opening on level cd in 8/9, 9/10 and 10/11. Colour variable, frequently green but sometimes yellow, pink or grey. Body cylindrical.”

Source: Reynolds, John W. 1977. The Earthworms (Lumbricidae and Sparganophilidae) of Ontario. Life Science Miscellaneous Publications, Royal Ontario Musuem, Toronto, with permission.


Species Biology

Reynolds (1977) provides the following biological information for this species: “In apropriate conditions activity, including breeding, possibly occurs all year. In the northern part of the range, there may be a single period of activity in the summer. There are records of the species occurring 300 mm below the soil surface although the species generally is characterized as shallow burrowing. Defecation occurs below the soil surface as does copulation. [The green worm] is obligatorily amphimictic (Reynolds 1974c).” This species has been reported as the secondarily preferred host of the cluster fly, Pollenia rudis (Fabr.) (Yahnke and George, 1972; Thomson and Davies (1973b); otherwise it is of minimal economic importance. The green worm produces 25-27 cocoons per year, with one hatchling per cocoon. Colour morphs seemed tied to ecological conditions with the green colour morph found in wet soils and the pink morph in dry soils (Lowe and Butt 2007). It is not a preferred bait species.


Reynolds (1977) provides the following habitat information for this species: “[The green worm] has been found in a wide variety of soil types, with a pH of 4.5-8.0, including gardens, fields, pastures, forests, clay and peat soils, lake shores and stream banks, estuarine flats, and among all sorts of organic debris. It has been found in caves in Europe and North America and also in botanical gardens and greenhouses in these continents. Most of the sites where A. cholorotica was obtained in the present survey were moist, low areas, such as under various forms of debris and logs in ditches...Eaton (1942) reported the habitat preferences of this species as “wet and usually highly organic or polluted soil.” In eastern Tennessee, almost 85% of the specimens collected were from wet, highly organic habitats (Reynolds et al. 1974).”


Global Range

“A native of Palaearctis, [this species] is known from Europe, Iran, North America, South America, North Africa, and New Zealand” (Reynolds 1977). Reynolds and Wetzel 2008 report it from Mexico. In the United States it is present in AK, AR, AZ, CA, Co, CT, DC, DE, GA, ID, IL, In, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NJ, NY, NV, OH, OR, PA, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA,WI, WV, WY (Reynolds and Wetzel 2008).
Canadian and BC Range

In Canada, this species is present in AB, BC, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PQ (Reynolds and Wetzel 2007). In British Columbia, it has been reported from Vancouver, Chimney Lake (cultured), Fort Langley, near Agassiz, Bridge Creek Falls, Spring Creek, Prince Rupert, Queen Charlotte Islands, Terrace, Clinton and Victoria (Marshall and Fender 2007). It is found in the following BEC zones: CDF, CWH, IDF, and SBS (Marshall and Fender 2007).

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2022-08-07 8:39:44 AM]
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