Are these E. fetida?

jokerkaaosMarch 16, 2009


I'm starting up a worm bin and I believe I've found a population of Eisenia fetida near my house in a giant pile of composting leaves. I'm not positive, though, so I only captured two of them and took some pics. Also, it was raining. Heh...

The tails are pinkish yellow, and I believe I can see light banding on the segments. They are small (maybe 2 inches) and slender. They were very active and wiggly.

Apologies for the somewhat blurry pics, but it's the best I can do with my camera. At least the photo of them crawling into the bin (where they have disappeared) is clear.

Can anyone give me a confirmation on species? Thanks!

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Hi joker,

I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But, the worms in your pics don't look like the EF's to me. To me, they look like the common earthworms that we have here in West Tennessee.

I found another thread on GW where a person was asking for help identifying his/her worms. The thread is located here. Scroll down to the sixth post. It was made by lkittle. In that post, there is a picture of Eisenia Fetidia and of Eisenia andrei. Maybe that picture will help you come to the correct determination about your worms.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:38PM
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They look like earth worms to me I think Lumbricus rubellus. Eisenia Fetida would be more likely to be ina manure pile or outdoor compost bin with lots of food scraps.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:08PM
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Ok, thanks for the replies. I thought they might not be L. rubellus due to the strange color on the tail. I've dug up a lot of rubellus around here and never seen any with a tail like that.

Time to find a stable... heh.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:11PM
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The yellow tails are actually indicative of fetidas. At least when I dug through that huge mound of cow and horse manure, almost every single worm I found had yellow tails, whether they were striped or not.

Keep them, you got the right worms

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 12:22AM
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takadi - Thanks for the dissenting opinion... heh. The yellow tails are what had me convinced, too.

Also, there's more evidence I didn't really make clear before:

I had previously gone out and collected about 40 L. rubellus from some shallow leaves, only later realizing they weren't E. Fetida. I went to another, much deeper and older pile of leaves in the same neighborhood and dug up the worms you see in the photos linked above.

None of the L. rubellus I collected before had tails with any coloration like the two pictured. More, the rubellus were larger and more purple than these two worms, with a much more pronounced difference in color between the main body and the band.

The rubellus all had a deep purple or inflamed-looking yellowish band, which also seemed to be larger in contrast to the body.

The two worms pictured have bands that are slimmer and closer in color to the main body than all the rubellus I collected before.

Part of the fun of this for me is the quest to find E. fetida in the wild near my house. I know I can do it! I'll try to collect more of the ones in question. If this fails, I have my eye on a horse stable a couple of miles from here...

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 3:09PM
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folly_grows(10 SF by the Bay)

A little Googling brought up lots of photos of EFs

And wikipedia has a nice photo and blurb about them:

You'll see that it is plumper than the worms in your photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: EF photos

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 3:19PM
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