dcsimg
Unresolved name

dendrobaena attemsi

Biology

provided by Natural History Museum Species of the day
Dendrobaena attemsi is a small epigeic earthworm - epigeic worms stay in the top horizons of the soil and feed on dead organic matter.The worm is often reddish in colour dorsally but loses its colour very quickly when preserved.Earthworms are hermaphrodites. Whilst some can reproduce parthogenically (without a mate), most reproduce sexually.  The adult worms possess a clitellum or saddle - a fleshy band that can be seen near the front end of the worm.When worms mate they pass each other sperm which they store in little sacs called spermathecea.The clitellum subsequently produces a thick mass of mucus - the stored sperm and its own eggs are released into this.The mucus hardens once it leaves the worm to form a cocoon which lies dormant in the soil until conditions are right for the juvenile worms to emerge.Dendrobaena attemsi has cocoons that are good at resisting dry conditions and potentially better than some of our more common native species.
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cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Natural History Museum, London
author
Emma Sherlock

Distribution ecology

provided by Natural History Museum Species of the day
This species is common in southern Europe, but rare in the UK.  We know very little about the actual distributions of earthworms across the UK.This is one of the first maps showing species distributions but should only be used as a guide.  To help us find out more about the species across the UK sign up to the new Earthworm Society of Britain.

Habitat
In the UK Dendrobaena attemsi is found in a few woodlands in southern England (apart from 1 single record in the north).

Conservation
This is a relatively rare species in the UK and is most prevalent in southern woodland.It appears to be on the increase in the UK with the warmer drier summers we are experiencing.cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Natural History Museum, London
author
Emma Sherlock

Introduction

provided by Natural History Museum Species of the day
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.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Natural History Museum, London
author
Emma Sherlock