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

Aporrectodea rosea (Savigny, 1825)
Earthworm; Pink Soil Worm
Family: Lumbricidae

Photo of species

© Earthworm Research Group University of Lancashire  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10712)

Earthworm distribution in BC
Distribution of Aporrectodea rosea 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 25-84 mm, diameter 3-5 mm, segment number 120-150, prostomium epilobic, first dorsal pore 4/5. Clitellum, somewhat flared ventrally xxv, xxvi-xxxii. Tubercula pubertatis usually xxix-xxxi. Setae closely paired, AA>BCCD, anteriorly DD = 1/2C, posteriorly DD= 1/3C. Male pores with elevated glandular papillae in xv with male tumescences extending over xiv and xvi. Seminal vesicles, four pairs in 9-12. Spermathecae, two pairs with short ducts opening near mD line or halfway between mL and d in 9/10 and 10/11. Body cylindrical, except in clitellar region. Unpigmented, but colour appears rosy or greyish when alive, and white when preserved.”

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 information for this species: “In suitable conditions activity, including breeding, is possible the year round. But in northern parts of the range there is a resting stage during winter cold and summer drought in which both hibernation and aestivation are spent tightly coiled in a small pink ball (Gates 1972c). According to Thomson and Davies (1974), [it] produces surface casts, despite some contrary statements in the literature. The species is parthenogenetic and biparental reproduction of anthropochorous morphs is unknown (Gates 1974c, Reynolds, 1974c). Cernosvitov (1930) reported degeneration, phagocytosis, and reabsorption of sperm and Tuzet (1946) recorded atypical spermatogenesis. Evans and Guild (1948) reared isolated individuals to sexual maturity which then produced fertile cocoons. [This species] is the primary host of the cluster fly, Pollenia rudis (Fabr.) (Yahnke and George, 1972, Thomson and Davies 1973a).” The pink soil worm has different parthenogenetic morphs. In Australia, highest densities are recorded in late winter and early spring (Baker et al. 1993). It is found in the top 10 cm of soil during the wettest periods (Baker et al. 1993). Coccoon development is influenced by temperature (Holmstrup 1999). This species eats soil.


Reynolds (1977) provides the following information on habitat for this species: “Cernosvitov and Evans (1947) and Gerard (1964) recorded [this species] in soil, fields, gardens, pastures, and forests. Gates (1972c) mentioned soils of pH 4.9-8.0 and recorded that it is found often enough in conditions that were thought to justify characterization as 'amphibious'. Murchie (1956) states '...although showing considerable adaptability in habitat requirements, [this species] is to be regarded primarily as a true soil species.' The results of [Ontario survey work] would tend to confirm Murchie's statement. In soil under logs was the most common habitat of this species in Ontario.... It is known from caves in Europe, Asia, and North America, as well as from botanical gardens and greenhouses. It is the only species widely distributed in the virgin steppes of Russia and the mountains of the Caucasus (Gates, 1972c).”


Global Range

This is a cosmpollitan species introduced throughout the world; a native of Palaearctis (Reynolds 1977). Reported from Mexico, the US and Canada by Reynolds and Wetzel (2008). In the United States, it is reported from AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WY (Reynolds and Wetzel 2008).
Canadian and BC Range

In Canada, this species is reported from AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, PQ, SK (Reynolds and Wetzel 2008). In British Columbia, it has been found east of Vancouver, west of Agassiz, and at Thetis Lake, 3 m from the creek (Marshal and Fender 2007). BEC zones: CDF and CWH (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: 2023-12-02 11:17:44 AM]
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