There are two types of nightcrawlers. They are the European Nightcrawler and the American Nightcrawler. The European crawls to a depth of about 6 inches, while the American crawler will crawl to around 12 inches. These different depths allow for other things in their environment, such as food sources or mates! Even bad soil with no nutrients can come to life with the quality worms; find out how here. Learn about Simple Grow here.
The European vs. American Nightcrawler
The European one is typically found in northern Europe. Its habitat is usually moist, dark areas like forests or marshes. However, the American Nightcrawler can be found all over North America and live in most soil types as it doesn't need to have much moisture to survive.
There are also some different features that these nightcrawlers have, which allow them to identify each other! For example, the European worm has a small head with no eyes, while the American Crawler's head is large with two eyes on either side. They also differ when you look at their tail: the European Worm has a long thin tapered tail, but an American Excavator's seat is short and broad-conical shaped.
European nightcrawlers are sexually immature and male, while the American variety is sexually mature and female.
The European Nightcrawler
Usually found in moist soil or under rocks and logs. They can grow up to 10 inches long, and their bodies are covered with bristles that help them move through dirt and sand. They eat decaying matter like leaves, grasses, roots, and fungi! The European nightcrawler is not poisonous to humans, but they release an unpleasant odor when disturbed or crushed.
The European Nightcrawler is one of the most commonly found worms in gardens and composts. The average lifespan of a European nightcrawler is 2-3 years, but some have been known to live as long as five years. The scientific name for a European nightcrawler is Lumbricus Terrestris.
The American Nightcrawler
American nightcrawlers are also known as earthworms. They burrow through the soil to create tunnels for water and air to flow through. They also are great at helping to break down organic matter in the ground, which helps plants grow! Nightcrawlers have a segmented body with bristles that they use for locomotion. There are over 2,000 species of earthworms found on every continent except Antarctica. The giant earthworm ever discovered was about 12 feet long and weighed just under 4 pounds!
Why Are They Named Nightcrawlers
Nightcrawlers are named nightcrawlers because they emerge at nighttime to eat and mate. They have no eyes but can sense movement and vibrations in the soil with their bristles. Nightcrawlers feed on dead organic matter like leaves or animal droppings, so a good way you know if there is an earthworm present is by finding its casting! These usually look like little piles of dirt that resemble coffee grounds or pancake batter.
Lumbricus Terrestris: This species lives between two and three years, but some have been known to live as long as five years. European nightcrawlers range from 12-40 inches when fully grown. The scientific name for this type of worm is Lumbricus Terrestris.
Castings: Worms will secrete acid to break down the organic matter they eat, forming an excellent soil called castings. These are often found in lawns or gardens under plants that have been watered regularly. The worm eats through the surface of the earth and excretes on top of it, effectively fertilizing your garden!
Nightcrawlers live all over Europe but are most populous in France and Germany. Germany-they can be collected during the night by shaking large amounts of moist earth from old trees and piles left behind after construction work is finished or abandoned machinery has finally disintegrated into dust. They thrive best in soils with high nutrient content like those near streams, ponds, and lakes!
Interesting Facts About Nightcrawlers
Some interesting facts about nightcrawlers would be that they can live up to five years. They also prefer moist soil that is not too wet or dry and about 15-20 degrees Celsius in temperature with plenty of oxygen.
How To Tell The Difference Between Nightcrawlers And Earthworms:
The nightcrawler will be a darker color than the earthworm, but they are otherwise similar creatures! When you touch them, they won't curl into a tight ball like an earthworm does because their skin is different--it's thicker, so it feels rough if you rub your fingers along its surface. There are many different types of crawlers out there for people who want to keep these pets on hand at all times.
With over 2,000 different species of earthworms, you're destined to see a few nightcrawlers in your lifetime if you spend any time outdoors or gardening at all. Don't be afraid of these creatures as they are lovely for your plants and gardens! Nightcrawlers can help rid organic matter and create castings that help your plants grow beautifully!