Talk:Lumbricus terrestris

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Just Say No to Lumber Testicles![edit]

For the month of August 1998 the term "lumbricus terrestris" returns just 48 on the overture keyword search tool, while the term "nightcrawlers" returns 2,998. I understand that there is a band named Nightcrawlers so I examined the term "nightcrawlers" further so see what people are searching for. Here are my results:

345  canadian nightcrawlers 
296  nightcrawlers raising 
180  european nightcrawlers 
132  nightcrawlers raise 
127  feeling nightcrawlers push
123  catch nightcrawlers 
115  nightcrawlers wholesale 
73  earthworm nightcrawlers raising 
68  catching nightcrawlers 
68  feeling lyric nightcrawlers push 
60  african nightcrawlers 
59  fishing nightcrawlers 
48  nightcrawlers worm 
41  nightcrawlers raise sell store 
40  canadian nightcrawlers raising 
36  bait catch nightcrawlers 
35  bait nightcrawlers 
33  black egg little nightcrawlers 
33  find nightcrawlers 
27  new nightcrawlers orleans 
25  finding nightcrawlers 
25  nightcrawlers push 

So, from the almost 3,000 searches done monthly on overture (and probably 5 times that amount on Google) for the term "nightcrawlers", only 195 deal with the rock band.

As for the term "lumber testicles" or whatever it is, I don't think many people know of this term as related to the more common name "nightcrawlers". Pretty clear to me. People are looking for worms when they are searching for nightcrawlers. As the owner of the website and avid fisherman, I for one know my readers prefer the common name over the scientific name. This isn't for the sake of a few dozen hits on my site. It just makes plain ole common sense to me. I don't know of any fishing trip I've been on where someone has yelled, "Hey! Pass me the Lumbricus Terrestris!" Enough said. Let's keep it "nightcrawlers" and not lumber testicles!

nightcrawler (1) gives absolutely no indication of taxonomic identity, and (2) is effectively unknown in the species' native area (2 google results [1], compared with 973 for common earthworm [2]).

Why have I got to start calling it by a name I'd never even heard of until yesterday?

Call it Lumbricus terrestris, which is in very wide use and understood by just about everyone, and is after all the title of the article. Also, I don't expect you to change your common usage, any more than I expect people here will stop referring to "Port Orford Cedar". There is no official earthworm registry of common names, though if one is created, I will be sure to let you know. WormRunner | Talk 17:14, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
But readers the world over will feel obliged to quote what they see as the first name given, and will so end up using a name which gived no indication of what the thing is. Wish everone would use Latin names, but there are far too many people around the world who have a strange aversion to them.
So all worm names have to have worm in them? Because you say so? Ridiculous! Anyone competent to find Wikipedia and read the article can figure out that an earthworm is the subject of discussion. I would say using "common earthworm" for one species of several thousand earthworm species, is confusing and unreasonable, and has resulted in many, many misidentifications. I don't mind saying that is the name used in Britain, but I strongly disagree with promoting it. Nightcrawler is descriptive in the same way "Warbler" is, and is not used for any other species (unless you count the "African nightcrawler", which is always distinguished by the term "African"). WormRunner | Talk 18:43, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"In North America and elsewhere" - where is "elsewhere"? Checked google, and got nil returns for .au (where Lumbricus terrestris is "Common European Earthworm" or "Common Earthworm"), .ie (where "The Earthworm"!), .za and .in, and just one return for "Nightcrawler" for .nz sites. In NA but outwith the US, Canada marginally favours Dew Worm (about 50:40:10 Dew Worm:Nightcrawler:Common Earthworm). I was also as much as anything baffled by your wishing to so downgrade "Common Earthworm" as a name; there's no end of other species called "common" which are not the most numerous species of their group, but are the most obvious species to the casual observer. In that, it is entirely within the norms of the use of "common" as a descriptor. - MPF 18:10, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Well, in the interests of NPOV, I did a rather exhaustive look with Google. .nz sites give one instance of "common earthworm", one for "nightcrawler" and two for "night crawler". There are 23 sites, most of which do not give a common name at all. There are 5 hits on Google for "common earthworm" for .au, but one of which the reference is in the statement: "In the past, various other earthworm species have frequently been misidentified as L. terrestris, perhaps partly due to it being erroneously known as the 'common earthworm' in school texts." Of the other 4, only one is something not taken from an American or European source such as a bibliography. There is one real hit for "common European earth-worm", one for "dew-worm" one for "field worms", and one called it the "classic textbook earthworm". There is one earthworm related hit for nightcrawler in .za, none for "common earthworm". The real evidence is that only in North America and Europe is there any common name at all, perhaps including New Zealand, though 4 sites for the country is hardly impressive. Five sites in .ca come up for "common earthworm" but only three actually use it as a common name. 9 use either nightcrawler or "night crawler". There are 11 hits for dew worm, but only 5 sites for those hits. These are not impressive numbers on which to base a conclusion, but I could see saying the usage of "nightcrawler" and "dew worm" in Canada is about equivalent, just to stretch a point. Many Canadian sites using "nightcrawler" use the .com domain so judging usage is a little difficult from the internet.

As for the use of the word "common", clearly it is being used in two senses here, one for abundance and one for a proper name. In the British Isles, it is being used as "Common Earthworm" as a proper name. In North America and possibly New Zealand, it is mostly called some variation of "Nightcrawler", or in Canada, "Dew Worm". Elsewhere it is mostly just called by the scientific name and to call it the "common earthworm" is only a source of confusion, like calling Quercus robur, the "common tree". I am happy to have the article reflect that. WormRunner | Talk 00:57, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Many thanks; all looks good now - MPF 22:49, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I really feel this should be merged with the article [earthworm]. These are the same species with 2 articles. I just want that to be known —Preceding unsigned comment added by Geosultan4 (talkcontribs) 00:56, 25 May 2007

This article is about Lumbricus terrestris, the type species for the sub-order Lumbricina (earthworms). However, there are 5,500 species in Lumbricina. A merger would be similar to merging Canis, Felis, Ursidae and kindered into Canis_lupus. Or merging Homo sapiens sapiens, probably this most common member of its order along with, for example, Otolemur crassicaudatus into one page for primate_order. Although the various earthworms may look similar to us, they are as about different to each other as the various members of the primates are. CS Miller 18:31, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

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