Are these red wrigglers? Help a newbie :)

zone13May 8, 2011

Are these red wrigglers? If they aren't, can I still use them in a worm bin? I collected them in the top 4 inches of rich soil amended with fish emulsion, also, there was quite a lot of leaf litter on top too. They wriggle vigorously when touched. Thanks in advance!

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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Probably not. No "stripe" pattern & the coloring looks more bluish/gray rather than reddish/brown with yellowish tail. How big are they? Mature reds are in 3-5" range. Here's a good photo of a red wiggler. Note the clitellum is fairly prominent.

There are thousands of species of earthworms. All of them that I've come across wriggle when touched or exposed to light. Tell us a little more about where you are, ambient temps, etc.

Andrew

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 6:16PM
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zone13

I'm just outside of Houston, Texas, winter lows usually don't drop below 20F and summers are in the 90s. Current daytime temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Could these be Alabama Jumpers?
Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 12:14AM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

I've never seen a Jumper. Browse through this album and see if anything looks familiar:
http://vermicomposters.ning.com/photo/albums/collection-of-worm-species

This site has a short description of some of the species:
http://thegardenforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=126

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 12:14AM
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trivedi_south(8)

"If they aren't, can I still use them in a worm bin?"

I think you can. All earthworm will digest organic matter and produce worm casting....I think.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:26AM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Some earthworm species don't do well in small containers. The Jumpers need deep beds with compacted material. The common nightcrawler (L. terrestris) also need deep beds, but looser bedding. Neither are very good for vermicomposting systems.

Andrew

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:10PM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Edit to my previous post: Jumpers will do fine in ~6" deep bed of compacted soil. It won't hurt to give them 12" of soil with 4" of leaf litter on top. Bury mushy food scraps on top of the soil & underneath the leaf litter.

Let us know if you start a bin with these. I just started a L. terrestris bin with 12" of un-compacted soil. (I found them burrowed in compacted soil and had to crumble the dirt clods.) There's only about a dozen of very small worms in there right now. I'll throw in others as I find them in the garden.

Andrew

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:27AM
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