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AIDGAP pair: Earthworms & Slugs

Special offer for June 2021: get two AIDGAP guides for just £20.00. Despite being common in gardens, wasteland and woodland, both earthworms and slugs are under-recorded groups.

Earthworms AIDGAP

FSC Earthworms AIDGAP covers all the species of earthworms living freely in the UK and Ireland.

Since publication of the First Edition in 2012, there has been an explosion of interest in earthworms, with many more people actively recording earthworms and submitting records to the National Scheme.

Earthworms are animals in the phylum Annelida, class Clitellata and subclass Oligochaeta. Earthworms work as ecosystem engineers. Firstly their burrowing improves soil aeration and drainage. They can ameliorate the effects of intense rainfall by digging more burrows, thus allowing water to dissipate more rapidly. Secondly soil gut passage enhances soil crumb structure and nutrient availability for other organisms. Thirdly when earthworms pull dead organic matter into their burrows, they increase nutrient availability, especially lower in the soil profile.

Slugs AIDGAP

FSC Slugs AIDGAP covers all the slugs of Britain and Ireland. The slug fauna has changed rapidly over recent years as exotic species join the native wildlife.

Slugs are part of everyday life. Widely detested by gardeners and others, they are, literally, wildlife on our doorsteps. This is not the case in all parts of the world. The British and Irish climate and landscape are in many ways ideal for these animals.

Newcomers to limacology, the study of slugs, often claim that all slugs look the same. This guide shows that this isn’t the case. Each species has its own biology, ecology and geographical history and, as a result, a different impact on human lives.

These two guides are part of the FSC’s AIDGAP series (Aids to Identification in Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants). Our AIDGAP guides are accessible identification keys, suitable for non-specialists from age 16+. As with all guides in the series, the Earthworms and Slugs AIDGAPs underwent extensive testing before publication, by beginners and specialists alike.