Why Do Nightcrawlers Come Out at Night?

Why Do Nightcrawlers Come Out at Night?
Nightcrawlers are also called common earthworms in the U.S. They are anecic, and live most successfully at a specific soil temperature and moisture, and so have adapted to come out at a time when they are least likely to dry out.

Feeding Habits

Nightcrawlers are anecic, which means that they dig temporary burrows in the soil, and pull litter off the top into the burrows to feed. This is different from other types of earthworms, who feed simply by finding food while moving through the soil.

Nightcrawler Success

The ideal soil temperature for nightcrawlers is 68 degrees F (20 C), and the ideal moisture level of soil is 30 percent. These conditions allow nightcrawlers to grow and reproduce best. Keeping their bodies immersed in these conditions is important, as earthworms dry out easily. Nocturnal feeding allows them to avoid changes in these conditions best.

Range & Habitat

This worm is common throughout Europe, and has been introduced in many other countries. It can now be found around the world, in temperate forests, grasslands and even lawns.


The special way of feeding that nightcrawlers exhibit allows them to put more litter into the soil than other types of earthworms. This allows it to break down faster and add nutrients to the area.


There are certain locations where these worms will come out more often than others. They may also come to the surface on especially humid or rainy days.

Article Written By EmilyTrudeau

Emily Trudeau has been writing all her life. She has recently been working on a blog about gourmet outdoor cooking called Dirty Gourmet. She majored in biology and philosophy at Florida State University, and loved writing with both scientific and logical focus.

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