Earthworm Lab by Melody Peng Pre-AP Biology Guzman P.6

Lumbricus terrestris

The earthworm, often called a night crawler, is a tube-shaped, segmented animal commonly found living in soil, that feeds on live and dead organic matter. It belongs to the kingdom Animalia and belongs to the phylum Annelida. Its digestive system runs through the length of its body. It conducts respiration within its skin. Earthworms are hermaphrodites—meaning itl carries both male and female sex organs. As an invertebrate, it lacks a skeleton, but it maintains its structure with fluid-filled coelom chambers.


You will learn about the earthworm. You will be focusing on the organs, structures in its respiratory system. You will also learn about its natural habitat, predators and the life cycle.

The Respiratory System

Earthworms don't have lungs like we do. Instead, they breathe by diffusing air directly through their skin. Oxygen passes in while carbon dioxide passes out. Their skin must stay moist in order to take in oxygen to work properly, which is why they live in damp soil. They have tissue located at the earthworm’s head that is sensitive to light. These tissues enable an earthworm to detect light and not surface during the daytime where they could be affected by the sun. Organ: Skin- diffuses oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out
Earthworm Anatomy

Fun Facts about the earthworm

  • there are actually many types of species of earthworms
  • they have no lungs or no actual respiratory organs, they breathe through their skin
  • they are hermaphrodites- having both female and male parts