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Worm Species

Although there are literally thousands of species of worms

There are many of species of worms, however only a few are used for worm farming. Some of  the worm species listed below are especially suited for worm composting. These types of worms thrive on most vegetable scraps, eating up to their own weight per day. If you provide ideal conditions, the worm population can steadily increase, doubling their numbers approximately every couple of months. Although the six species listed can be used for worm composting, the two most common are Eisenia fetida (Red Wigglers) and Lumbricus rubellus (Red worms). A general description of each species is shown below.

Red Wigglers
(Eisenia fetida)

The Red Wiggler a common type of composting worm. It can process large amounts of organic matter and under ideal conditions, can eat around it's body weight each day. The Red Wiggler can reproduce rapidly, and is quite tolerant of variations in growing conditions. Other names for red wigglers include Tiger Worms, Garlic Worms, Manure Worms, and Brandling Worms.

Red Worms
(Lumbricus rubellus)

The Red Worm is a good composting worm. In sunlight, it is a very active wriggler and is thought by many fishermen to be irresistible to fish. Red Worms are effective at aerating and mixing the soil, and consume a significant amount of organic material, although less than Red Wigglers. Red Worms are commonly found in decomposing animal manure and compost piles. Other names include Red Wworms, Blood Worms, and Red Wiggler (but not the same as the worm described above).

Red Tiger
(Eisenia andrei)

The Red Tiger worm is a great composting worm. It is a close relative of the Red Wiggler (E. fetida) and is more commonly used as a bait worm because it exudes coelomic fluid, which attracts fish. These worms are active wigglers in sunlight. Other common names include Tiger worms and Red Tiger hybrids.

Blue Worms
(Perionyx excavitus)

Blue Worms have gained popularity over recent years for composting. Blue Worms do well in warm climates, however dislike the cold. Although Blue Worms eat significant amounts of organic matter and are prolific breeders, they are very sensitive to changes in their growing environment. If the conditions in the bin change only slightly, these worms have been known to abandon their habitat. Other common names for the Blue Worm include Indian Blue and Malaysian Blue worms.

African Nightcrawlers
(Eudrilus engeniae)

The African Nightcrawler can be a good composting worm, but is sensitive to changes in its environment. The entire worm population of some worm bins have been know to move out in less than a day if growing conditions are not to their liking. These worms also perform markedly better in warmer climates and aren't recommended for areas where the temperature falls below 50 F. These worms don't eat as much organic matter as E. fetida, L. rubellus or E. andrei. Another common name for this worm is the giant Nightcrawler.

(Lumbricus terristris)

( NOT typically a compost worm ! )

Nightcrawlers are one of the more common types of worms found in your yard and are more of a garden worm than a compost worm.  Nightcrawler worms are popular fishing bait worms, because they are large and easy to place onto fishing hooks and relatively easy to farm and are quite tolerant of variations in growing conditions. Nightcrawlers are not ideally suited for use in a worm farm or compost bin, as they prefer their burrows undisturbed and like to feed on things found at top soil level.

This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 23 April, 2011.

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