Dendrobaena attemsi is an earthworm species commonly found in southern Europe that has occasionally been spotted in woodlands in southern England.
It lives in the top layers of the soil feeding on dead organic matter.
Its cocoons seem better able to resist dry conditions than those of some of our native earthworm species.
Dendrobaena attemsi habitat.© freefoto.com
Curator in the Invertebrates Curation Team, responsible for the Annelida, Minor Phyla and Porifera collections.
"This is a species I come across a lot when identifying the worms in the New Forest, and yet very rarely see elsewhere. It looks very distinctive when preserved in alcohol. It’s a worm I always look out for now, especially as it seems it may do better in the UK with the drier conditions that could be ahead of us."
Eggleton P et al 2009. A six year study of earthworm (Lumbricidae) populations in pasture woodland in southern England shows their responses to soil temperature and soil moisture. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41, 1857–1865.